Missouri governor removes education board appointee from Joplin

Gov. Eric Gretens

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has removed a State Board of Education appointee the night before members are expected to discuss firing the state's top education official.

The governor on Monday withdrew his appointee John "Tim" Sumners. Sumners had said he would not vote out Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven, whom Greitens is trying to replace.

The new governor had filled five seats on the board with his appointees, including Sumners. That's enough of a majority to vote to fire Vandeven, and three of Greitens' appointees called for the closed meeting Tuesday.

But without Sumners' support, it had appeared unlikely that Vandeven's opponents would have the votes to oust her. Replacing Sumners with a new Greitens' appointee could bring the pivotal fifth vote needed to remove her.

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