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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) — A judge could decide later this month whether ousted Columbus schools superintendent Martha Liddell should be returned to her job, at least temporarily.

14th District Chancery Court Judge Kenneth Burns has set a July 16 hearing on Liddell’s request for a temporary injunction blocking her removal. Burns took over the case after Judge Jim Davidson recused himself because his wife works for the school district.

Citing misuse of district funds and other issues, the school board voted 3-2 last month to fire Liddell after one year on a three-year contract. Liddell filed suit in chancery court, saying the board failed to give her proper notice and secretly plotted her ouster.

The board and its attorney, David Dunn, along with attorney Chris Hemphill, have been summoned for the hearing.

An injunction would block the board’s action pending a trial on her lawsuit. The school district has not yet filed a response to Liddell’s claims, but board members have denied any wrong and say an injunction isn’t needed because Liddell isn’t being harmed by awaiting a trial.

Edna McGill is serving as interim superintendent.

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