Jeff Davis schools hurry to fill vacant post

A day after Jeff Davis County Superintendent Wayne Fortenberry announced his retirement, district officials scrambled to appoint his temporary replacement.

During a special agenda board meeting Wednesday, district and state officials met to appoint an interim superintendent. But citing legalities, board President Jesse Holloway says it couldn't be accomplished. As a result, state officials have temporarily appointed Bill Welch from the Board of Education's accreditation office. Welch will assume an administrative role for the next week or two.

The district's financial and management problems were brought to light following a state audit last year. Among other things, the audit found the district had borrowed and then misspent $1.8 million from 16th Section land funds.

Meanwhile despite Fortenberry's retirement, officials say he's still responsible for repaying $350,000 in misused funds.

7 ON YOUR SIDE has learned that Fortenberry removed his name from the election ballot for this fall.