12/05/04 — Duplin school board appointment challenged

View Archive

Duplin school board appointment challenged

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on December 5, 2004 2:03 AM

KENANSVILLE -- Bob Kornegay says he's going to challenge the appointment of Johnni Blackwell-Fennell to the school board, which was made by the county Democratic Party.

Kornegay, a former Duplin County commissioner, believes Mike Davis should get the appointment.

Johnni Blackwell-Fennell was appointed last week by the Duplin County Democratic Executive Committee to finish Jeff Miller's unexpired term on the school board. She is scheduled to be sworn into office Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in the O.P. Johnson Education Building.

Kornegay said Friday that he wished he had attended the appointment meeting.

"I have no problem with Johnni. Johnni is a fine person," he said. "The issue I take is with the way (Democratic Party Chairman) Jesse Williams conducted the meeting. He ignored the wishes of the District 2 precincts."

Kornegay said he didn't allow for a formal recommendation to be made before the vote.

Kornegay, who works with Davis at Tri-County Electric Membership Corp., said Davis was the choice of all the precincts in the district.

He said Davis was also unable to attend the meeting, and he was told that there had beenthree attempts to make a formal recommendation.

Kornegay also questioned Mrs. Blackwell-Fennell's voter registration.

"I learned yesterday she's registered to vote in Kenansville, and she has a house in Albertson," said Kornegay. "She's registered to vote in District 5, and she's appointed to represent District 2? I don't get it."

When she came to the meeting Monday night, Mrs. Blackwell-Fennell said she didn't know who else was interested in the seat. She said she remembers Warren Hepler, Sandra Lee and Kornegay's mother, Edith Kornegay, speaking on behalf of Davis.

"I live in the Albertson township," said Mrs. Blackwell-Fennell. She said she married in February, lived briefly in Kenansville and moved in March back to the house on N.C. 111-903 in the Albertson community of Duplin County.

"I live there," she said. "All my clothes are there. I don't know what they want me to do to prove I live there."