Phillips receives class ring and handgun as retirement gifts

Retiring Muscogee County superintendent John Phillips was honored by the school board Tuesday night at the Chattahoochee River Club.

"It went well," said board member Pat Hugley-Green. "It was a regular retirement party."

The board gave Phillips a "class ring," which every superintendent gets, board member Cathy Williams said, and a .45 caliber pistol as retirement gifts.

The board had dinner and listened to a quartet of former Northside High students sing.

"They were terrific," Williams said.

Seven of the nine board members attended the dinner — Hugley-Green, Williams, Phillips Schley, John Wells, James Walker, Naomi Buckner and Brenda Storey. Only Hugley-Green and Williams returned phone calls.

Tuesday's gathering of school board members was not announced to the public, as public meetings are required to be.

For purposes of the Georgia Open and Public Meetings law, a (public) " ... 'Meeting' means the gathering of a quorum ... at a designated time and place at which any public matter ... is to be discussed or presented ...."

It is unclear whether the Open and Public Meetings law applied to this particular gathering because the public was excluded and a reporter was affirmatively asked to leave the gathering.

The cost of the dinner and gifts did not come out of school district funds and school board members took up donations to help cover the cost.