The secret war for control of Bethune-Cookman University took another turn Friday after a school trustee accused the board’s chairwoman of breaking the law.

At a press conference, trustee and retired Florida circuit judge Belvin Perry threatened to seek board chair Michelle Carter-Scott’s ouster following her failed attempts to fire B-CU’s interim president seven times.

Denouncing what he called the board’s “cloak of darkness,” Perry called for open board meetings, allowing the student government president voting rights on the board, restoring National Alumni Association membership to the board, and ending B-CU’s presidential search — this while the university copes with a host of problems that threaten its future.

“Today I must publicly speak out,” Perry said. “We as a board have been silent about what’s going on … during the past year, beginning in 2018 and probably years before that.”

Perry alleged an email Thursday from Carter-Scott and trustee Jennifer Adams seeking approval from the board's executive committee to add three new board members may have broken the law because it was sent to board members who have resigned and can no longer legally vote, Perry said. Further, he said the move violates the university’s bylaws in that the candidates would need approval from the board's nomination and governance committee and then a vote by the full board.

The email gave the executive committee until Friday — less than 24 hours — to decide whether to add the new board members, Perry said.

“There have been no background checks. There have been no credit checks. There have been no checks at all,” Perry said. “We should learn from our history.”

While the university’s board once numbered more than 30 members, recent protests and potential legal threats have led to a mass exodus, where now, just 10 board members remain.

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Carter-Scott, who was not present at the press conference, declined to comment about Perry’s accusations.

The press conference came one day before a protest planned for Saturday at B-CU by its National Alumni Association. Association President Robert Delancy said that the aim of the protest is to oust all trustees involved in the dorm deal and suspend the presidential search until the board is reconstituted.

Perry, citing an October letter he sent the board regarding the university’s probation sanction by a regional accrediting body, said constant efforts by Carter-Scott and a “rogue” faction of the board have interfered with interim President Hubert Grimes’ ability to stabilize the university. B-CU is facing lawsuits over a student housing project now under federal and state investigation, crippling debt and a threat to its accreditation.

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“During the entire one year period that she has been chair of the board of trustees, there has never been any attempt to find out what happened to the $25 million?” Perry said, referring to unaccounted money from the dorm deal. “What happened during that dorm deal that we can uncover that will help us not make those same mistakes in the future?”

Grimes, who spoke at the press conference before Perry, didn’t provide much new information, though he did cite how construction documents showed that the dorm was supposed to cost around $60 million — far from the final price tag of $85 million. He also confirmed that dorm deal is under investigation by the FBI and other agencies.

Amid the recent turmoil, Perry said Carter Scott and her “cronies” have tried to fire Grimes seven times.

One of those times was in October, following a week of student protests, a failed vote by the board to remove Grimes and a press release from the school that warned that B-CU was “on the verge of extinction.” However, on the last day of the tumultuous week, Carter-Scott and Grimes spoke together of mending fences.

As B-CU fights for its survival — and for answers — Perry alleged that any time trustees have questioned the dorm deal, they’ve been shut down.

“What do you have to hide?” he asked of Carter-Scott, though she was not present.

Grimes said the university was working hard to resolve the issues it is facing, though it has declined to make public the results of a forensic audit into the finances of the dorm deal.

Asked about the audit that Grimes had promised to disclose, Perry said the decision wasn’t his, but that he favored releasing a redacted copy of it.

Perry, who was been friends with fellow former judge Grimes for decades since they met at judges colleges, also dismissed rumors that Grimes was somehow involved in the dorm deal. And while the board could move to try to fire Grimes again, Perry said the university was making progress toward restoring its accreditation and dismissed rumors that the university was “falling apart.”

In light of all the university’s challenges, Grimes reaffirmed that it remained committed to helping students.

“We are doing everything we can to help give our students the best space for their education,” Grimes said.