Spotsylvania School Board vice chair charged in alleged attack on fellow board member

A Spotsylvania County School Board member has been charged with assault and battery following an alleged attack on a fellow board member. 

The incident reportedly occurred on the same day as the board's most recent meeting.

According to Spotsylvania General District Court’s website, board member Nicole Cole faces a class one misdemeanor charge of assault and battery. The complaint was filed by fellow board member Lisa Phelps, who reported the incident to law enforcement on May 21.

The altercation allegedly took place on May 20 during a contentious board meeting. Inside a back room, Phelps claims that Cole slammed a door into her shoulder and extended her leg, causing her to trip. This was first reported by the Fredericksburg Free Press.

"As I went to push the door open, it felt heavy. I pushed it open. I walked in, the door pushed back into my left arm. Ms. Cole was standing there. I walked around her, and she purposely put out her foot and she tripped me," Phelps recalled. 

"Of course, they are going to say it never happened, but there is a witness here," she continued. 

Board member April Gillespie, who represents the Berkeley district, told FOX 5 she saw what took place that day. 

"She [Cole] quickly grabbed the door and slammed it on Phelps's left arm and got pinned between the door and the frame," Gillespie said. 

The Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to FOX 5 that a warrant was served on Cole on Tuesday morning. Cole represents the Battlefield district. 


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In a related development, Phelps, the complainant, was reprimanded by a unanimous board vote last month for alleged ethics violations. 

Cole, the defendant in this case and vice chair of the board, reportedly led that effort. Cole has denied the door-slamming allegations, calling them "false" in a statement to FOX 5. 

"I am devoted to improving our childrens’ education," Cole said. "As a community, we shouldn’t be distracted by those with a radical political agenda to undermine public education."


FOX 5 contacted Cole's attorney, Charles King, for comment via email and received a statement saying, "There was no assault. This case is going nowhere. Ms. Phelps should devote her time to improving education, not swearing out warrants."

"The solution for me is to hold MS. Cole accountable for her actions," Phelps told FOX 5. "You cannot physically touch someone because you don’t like what they say or who they are."

FOX 5's Nana-Sentuo Bonsu contributed to this report.