WELCH — The Welch school board president, asked by a citizens group to resign or become the target of a grand jury investigation for allegedly threatening school officials, will not step down, his attorney said Wednesday.
Welch Citizens Allied for Responsible Education gave board member Dennis McCord the choice of voluntarily resigning his position or they would file a petition in Craig County District Court to impanel a grand jury seeking his removal from the board, said Trudy Hankins, group spokeswoman.
"We have hoped throughout this situation that Mr. McCord would do the sensible thing and resign his seat so that the school and the community can move on," Hankins said. "He has repeatedly refused to do so."
Hankins said a petition containing more than 500 signatures will be filed with the Craig Count Court Clerk's office today. To be validated, the petition must contain signatures of at least 500 people registered to vote in Craig County. Signatures will be checked with the county election board.
Johnson said his office will seek to verify the number of signatures.
"He (McCord) will not resign," said Erik Johnson, McCord's attorney.
McCord is accused of verbally assaulting, cursing and threatening retaliation against Welch Superintendent R. Clark McKeon and a softball coach after his daughter did not play in a game. Additionally, McCord's daughter was witnessed taking off her team jersey, throwing it on the ground and stomping on it. McCord was suspended for six months from school property with the exception of board meetings.
"This is a man who was re-elected five times to the board," Johnson said.
McCord was also chosen Oklahoma School Board Member of the Year in 1999, he said.
"He (McCord) used his power to threaten the jobs of McKeon and the coach if his children didn't get more playing time," said Daniel Giraldi, the group's attorney.
Superintendent McKeon was unavailable for comment.
This is not the first time McCord has allegedly threatened school officials. In 2004, he allegedly threatened to kill a basketball coach, and in 2006 he challenged McKeon to a fistfight, all over the lack of playing time by his children in sports, Giraldi said.
Patrons asked McCord to resign at the May school board meeting, but he declined. Other school board members asked him to step down in 2006.
If the petition is found to have the sufficient number of signatures, a grand jury would be impaneled within 30 days.