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MOHELA board loses third member in two days

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Former MOHELA Board member and university professor James Ricks (SEMO photo)

By AP/KWMU

Jefferson City, MO. – Another member of Missouri's student loan agency is leaving.

Board member James Ricks confirms he has resigned from the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority. Ricks is the third person this week to leave the seven-member board.

The departures come in advance of the board's September 27th vote on Governor Blunt's plan to use $350 million in MOHELA money for projects at state universities and colleges.

Ricks is a professor at Southeast Missouri State University. He's one of the board members who Attorney General Jay Nixon claimed could have a conflict of interest.

Blunt appointed Pulaski Bank president Tom Reeves Tuesday to replace Marilyn Bush, who resigned Monday. Reeves also used to head Downtown Now, a group that established a long-term plan for downtown St. Louis.

Interim higher education commissioner Charles McClain resigned for health reasons.

NIXON STILL OPPOSED

Meanwhile, Attorney General Jay Nixon is urging the remaining members of MOHELA's board to vote against the plan.

But Nixon stopped short of saying whether individual board members could be sued for approving the deal: "I'm not in the process of telling people whether they can be sued or not, I'm in the process of telling them, as I did very specifically, what the possibilities of those things are should they make a decision that hijacks MOHELA's purpose to some other purpose."

Four of the board's seven members must vote in favor of the sale for it to pass.

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