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State Superintendent's Authority Questioned (Jun 10, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A state lawmaker wants an attorney general's opinion on whether the state schools superintendent had the authority to hire and fire several Education Department employees.

Superintendent Janet Barresi has hired and fired several employees since the board voted 3-1 on May 9 to give her that authority. The board had previously held the ability to hire and fire.

Democratic state Rep. Scott Inman told The Oklahoman that state law requires a majority of the seven member board — four votes — in order for the board to take action. Education Department attorney Lisa Enders counters that the law requires only a majority of those present — as long as there is a quorum of at least four members.

Five members — including Barresi — attended the May 9 meeting. Barresi didn't vote.

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