Canton School Board meets for first time since member was indicted and arrested

Courtney Rainey was indicted and arrested for voter fraud last Thursday in Canton

Canton School Board meets for first time since member was indicted and arrested
The Canton School Board meets for the first time since a member was indicted and arrested last week. (SOURCE: WLBT)

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - A busy night at the Canton School Board meeting Tuesday night.

Two finalists were named for superintendent and, for the first time since her indictment and arrest last Thursday on voter fraud charges, Courtney Rainey participates in a Canton School Board meeting.

Courtney Rainey was indicted and arrested last Thursday for voter fraud. (SOURCE: WLBT)
Courtney Rainey was indicted and arrested last Thursday for voter fraud. (SOURCE: WLBT)

She did not talk with us, but the School Board attorney says Rainey can continue with her work for the school district.

Courtney Rainey sat with other school board members going through Tuesday night’s agenda conducting business as usual - Rainey asking questions. “It’s sensitive? It’s sensitive data because it has names on it.”

Rainey faces 12 counts of voter fraud, one count of intimidating a witness, conspiracy to commit voter fraud and voting by an unqualified person.

She is among seven people indicted and arrested last Thursday in Canton. School Board attorney Lisa Ross says Rainey can continue with her duties on the school board.

Lisa Ross is the school board attorney for Canton. (SOURCE: WLBT)
Lisa Ross is the school board attorney for Canton. (SOURCE: WLBT)

Ross said, “The matter between Miss Rainey is a matter being handled in the Madison County Circuit Court and the Canton Public School District does not take a position on that matter.”

The voter fraud investigation by the Madison County District Attorney’s office is ongoing and more voter fraud cases will be presented to a grand jury soon. For now, Rainey holds on to her seat on the school board."

“We expect that matter will be handled in due course in the court and we will continue to focus on educating the children of the City of Canton," Ross said.

Rainey is no stranger to controversy. There have been charges that she does not meet residency requirements to serve on the school board.

There were also questions about a big raise given to Rainey for her job as Director of Human and Cultural Needs for the City of Canton. She was given a ten thousand dollar raise in October, taking her salary to 52 thousand dollars.

Mayor William Truly vetoed the move, saying it was not the time to give an employee that kind of boost in pay.

The board also discussed the two finalists for the job of Canton Superintendent.

19 people applied for the job. The two finalists will meet in a Public Forum Monday at 6 p.m. at Canton High School.

Gary Hannah, an Assistant Superintendent for Jackson Public Schools, and Earl Joe Nelson, a Principal for Pass Christian Middle School, will answer questions that must be submitted in writing prior to the meeting.

The deadline to submit questions is Thursday by 5 p.m. which will allow the board to review questions prior to Monday’s forum. You can submit questions by email here.

Questions can also be delivered in an envelope marked “Public Forum” and delivered to the Central Office at 403 East Lincoln Street, Canton, Mississippi 39041.

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