MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - His contract runs through next year, but Memphis City Schools Superintendent Kriner Cash might hit the road before then. Dr. Cash is one of three finalists to take the helm of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system in North Carolina.
Dr. Kriner Cash isn't always the easiest guy to get along with. That assessment comes from the man who has had a lot of fights with the superintendent over the years, Memphis Mayor A C Wharton.
"His charge was to come here and take care of these kids, and he would go to the mat for them," Wharton said of Cash.
The mayor and Kriner Cash have had some epic disagreements, all about money. The city went to court to avoid paying more than $40 million to the city school system. Once a judge ruled the city had to pay up, there were disagreements that were sometimes heated and emotional.
"Despite any differences we may have had, I hold him in the utmost of respect. I mean he's a man who caused us to cough up those millions. It was for a good cause. My back was against the wall, but I would have respected him less had he not persisted."
North Carolina governmental agencies met behind closed doors to discuss hiring new people, so nobody knew about Dr. Cash being in the top three finalists for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools until the information was released by their school board.
According to Ericka Ellis-Steward, Chairman of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board, "We do an extensive background check on each of the finalists, from everything including their credit, to their criminal background, any civil lawsuits. We look at their credentials. So we look pretty broad and pretty deep."
Memphis School Board member Rev. Kenneth Whalum, Jr. can understand why Charlotte might be attractive for Dr. Cash.
"He's lost his wife within the last year. He lost his top aid. I don't envy him. And I don't blame him for trying to do something different," Whalum said.