Some 6,500 people have signed a petition calling for the ejection of the board of the Milton Hershey School Trust.

The trust last week reconsidered its proposal to sell its stake in Hershey Foods following a firestorm of protest from community leaders, employees at the candy maker and the alumni association of the school that is the trust’s sole beneficiary, the Milton Hershey School.

Although the trust’s board finally voted by ten votes to seven to call off the sale, the board has lost the confidence of many stakeholders. State attorney general Mike Fisher, who was a prominent mouthpiece for the anti-sale campaign, was handed the petition yesterday by community leaders from Hershey.

“The attorney general met with leaders of the community,” Fisher spokesman Sean Connolly said later. “But we can’t speculate on any possible legal actions this office may take in the future.”

The signatories of the petition claim the board has failed to fulfil its responsibilities by considering the sale, an allegation hotly denied by Rick Kelly, a spokesman for the trust: “On the contrary, the board is absolutely performing its duties. It had a legal, ethical and moral obligation to do just what it did – explore all options relating to diversification.”