There is now an open seat on the Lowndes County School Board. It follows a guilty plea by Willie Lanahan.
“He did a tremendous job for the Lowndes County School Board by representing us. He was very well respected, so you would say this was a surprise, definitely.”
Forty-nine-year-old Willie Lanahan plead guilty Tuesday to mail fraud and bank fraud. The charges could lead to a maximum sentence of 35 years in prison and more than $1 million in fines.
"As a result to Lanahan pleading guilty to the two charges and them being felonies he will resign from the board. I'm sure in the matter of a few days we will receive a letter of resignation from him," says Dr. Steve smith, Superintendent of Lowndes County Schools.
Now the Hahira district two seat is open and its up to the school board to find a replacement until an election is held.
"We will move forward. We've got a great group of board members and they work very well together and together they will fill that vacant seat."
Board members say after Lanahan's resignation it should take a couple of months for someone to be appointed.
"They need to be a resident of the district they would have to be a citizen and express an interest in their districts."
It's going to be a process that members say will take time and patience. Board members will name an interim replacement for Lanahan. That person will serve until the seat is up for election in the fall.