Nine members of the D.C. School Board agreed at a meeting last night to initiate a petition drive for the recall of at-large board member Frank Shaffer-Corona.
The members action followed by minutes the latest in a series of squabbles between the board and the controversial Shaffer-Corona. Last night's dispute erupted at a board meeting when Shaffer-Corona refused to stop smoking after being asked to do so repeatedly by board member Alaire B. Rieffel, who has asthma. When Shaffer-Corona left the board room briefly, he was locked out by his fellow board members.
It was then that the nine board members determined to initiate the recall. They will need the signatures of 26,000 voters on the petition and approval of the D.C. Elections Board before the question can be placed on the ballot.
Board President R. Calvin Lockridge, one of the Shaffer-Corona's staunchest opponents, said a recall question could be placed before the voters at an time provided the signatures are certified and the elections board approves.
Shaffer-Corona maintained last night that he did nothing improper. "Mrs. Rieffel's allergy seems to be very selective," since other board members, cigarette smoking apparently does not bother her, Shaffer-Corona said.
The petition was signed by Lockridge and board members Rieffel, Linda Cropp, Nathaniel Bush, Bettie Benjamin, Frank Smith, John E. Warren, Carol Schwartz and Eugene Kinlow. Board vice president Barbara ylett Simmons was not present.
The board recently censured Shaffer-Corona, alleging that he misused school money to travel to Texas and Mexico and place international phone calls for "apparent personal reasons," and filed suit against him to recover the money it says he owes the school system.