A former principal at several New Orleans public schools received the unanimous backing of the Orleans Parish School Board on Friday to fill the seat left vacant when Ira Thomas resigned early this month before being charged with accepting a bribe.

John Brown was selected to fill the seat by all six members of the School Board in a single round of balloting at a special meeting Friday night.

That was a dramatic change from a few weeks ago, when the same members deadlocked while trying to chose between Brown and motivational speaker Happy Johnson. Despite voting three times, the board remained divided 3-3.

Brown will represent the district comprising New Orleans East and the Lower 9th Ward until a special election this fall to determine who will serve the rest of Thomas’ term.

Thomas faces federal charges alleging he took a $5,000 bribe to rig a janitorial contract.