Onslow County School Board votes to start removal process against Eric Whitfield

Published: May. 26, 2022 at 3:39 PM EDT|Updated: May. 26, 2022 at 4:22 PM EDT
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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - The Onslow County School Board has voted to move forward with removing a controversial member from office.

Eric Whitfield was not at the special meeting this morning which also revealed the results of a special investigation into his actions.

Whitfield was convicted last month of cyberstalking and in February spent two days in jail after being held in contempt.

A judge found him guilty of cyberstalking school system employee Kelli Muse, who is also a member of the Craven County School Board.

Prosecutors said Whitfield repeatedly contacted the victim via texts and Facebook after she repeatedly told him not to contact her.

The school board is directing its attorney to come up with the process to remove a member, and the attorney will then prepare the petition to remove Whitfield from office.

The vote was 5-0 with Whitfield and fellow board member Bill Lanier absent from the meeting.

The special investigation looked into complaints of harassment by Whitfield against Muse and a member of the community, as well as allegations that school board member Melissa Oakley acted with Muse to file civil and criminal charges against Whitfield for cyberstalking.

Attorneys reviewed over 5,500 documents and spoke to eight people. The investigation found that Whitfield violated the board’s Code of Ethics by posting videos on YouTube where he used “derogatory and insulting language”. They also said Whitfield violated board policy in handling complaints.

As far as Oakley and Muse working together against Whitfield, the investigation said that claim was unsubstantiated.

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