Conflict question in Georgia school suit

D. Aileen Dodd and Bill Rankin

The state’s highest court will rule in coming months on the tug-of-war over power and money that pits seven school districts against the state in a fight over local control. The case has already raised a question about fair play.
Ties between Supreme Court Justice David Nahmias and Mike Bowers, attorney for Gwinnett County Public Schools, the lead district in the case, have some in education circles asking about a possible conflict of interest. Bowers, a former Georgia attorney general, is Nahmias’ election campaign committee’s co-chairman and contributed $1,000 to his election bid on Aug. 1, finance disclosures show.
A committee Bowers chaired in 2009 recommended Nahmias, 46, the former U.S. attorney in Atlanta, for his seat on the state Supreme Court. Nahmias appeared on the short list of candidates the Judicial Nominating Commission sent to the governor when former Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears stepped down.