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CMS Names Longtime Deputy Counsel To Top Legal Job


The Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board voted unanimously Tuesday to promote Deputy General Counsel André Mayes to the district's top legal job.

Mayes will take over as CMS general counsel at the first of the year, when George Battle III leaves to start a new job with UNC Chapel Hill. The board approved a 4.5-year contract at an annual salary of $229,500.

Mayes has been second in command in the CMS legal department since 2008. In a statement sent Tuesday night, board Chair Mary McCray called the decision to hire her without a national search "a no-brainer."

Battle, who has had the top job for nine years, told board members they made a wise choice.

"I'm not going to say you're getting a great lawyer, because you've had a great lawyer in Ms. Mayes on staff for 11 years now," Battle said.  "But your wisdom in signing her very quickly to take this spot I think speaks very well of you."

Battle announced last month he would resign to take a newly created job as vice chancellor of institutional integrity and risk managment at UNC, his alma mater.

Mayes will be part of a new leadership team in CMS, though her promotion follows a recent pattern of filling top jobs from within.

Earnest Winston, who had been a district ombudsman and chief of staff, became superintendent in August after Clayon Wilcox was forced to resign. Wilcox was the second CMS superintendent in five years to be forced out for reasons that were not publicly disclosed; both of them were hired in national searches. Winston named several CMS veterans to top jobs in his administration.

McCray, who has chaired the CMS board for seven years, didn't run for reelection and will be replaced at the board's December meeting.

Also Tuesday, the board approved a new "chief compliance and transparency officer" job. It will be the third post, in addition to superintendent and general counsel, reporting directly to the school board.