(WJBF) – The long-time legal counsel for two local school systems has died.

Leonard “Pete” O. Fletcher, Jr. provided legal counsel for the Richmond County Board of Education for more than 50 years and the Columbia County Board of Education for more than 30 years.

According to his biography, Fletcher served as counsel for the multi-county regional educational agency CSRA RESA, as well as the Augusta Neighborhood Improvement Corporation.

Fletcher’s biography also states that throughout Fletcher’s career, he had the opportunity to handle a wide range of matters, including litigation in State and Federal Courts defending employment issues, discrimination, wage-hour claims, alleged violations of constitutional rights (including the First and Fourteenth Amendments), defense of class action lawsuits, special education matters, and the desegregation case for the Board of Education of Richmond County.

Richmond County Board of Education and the Richmond County School System put out a statement about the passing of School Board Attorney, Mr. Leonard “Pete” O. Fletcher, Jr.:

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of our School Board Attorney, Mr. Pete Fletcher. For 50 years, Mr. Fletcher has provided steady counsel to the Richmond County School System and the Board of Education. Mr. Fletcher has been a source of expertise and wisdom, giving sound guidance and service as a trusted advisor to many Richmond County Board of Education trustees and superintendents. Mr. Fletcher has been instrumental in making sure that our actions and decisions are always in the best interest of the children of Richmond County. Mr. Fletcher’s passing is a tremendous loss to the State of Georgia, our school system, and our community. Our heartfelt condolences and thoughts are with the Fletcher family and the many friends and community members who love him. The impact Mr. Fletcher made on our schools is immeasurable and we are forever grateful for his work and dedication to the Richmond County Board of Education and the Richmond County School System.”

The Columbia County School System also released a statement saying:

“Mr. Fletcher has served the Columbia County School District in the capacity of legal counsel since 1989, offering wisdom and guidance for our students and staff. His dedication and service to public education has made a positive and lasting impact that we will not soon forget. We extend sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Pete Fletcher on his passing. He will be greatly missed by many.”