Tuesday, June 26, 2007

St Charles school board admits it violated open meetings law in Erwin contract amendment

ST.CHARLES – By a six-to-one vote, the St. Charles school board acknowledged it violated the Open Meetings Act when it failed to vote publicly on a contract extension for the district superintendent.

“I think this puts an end to the whole inquiry in this whole area,” board president Kathy Hewell said.

The board took the vote late Monday night, after they discussed it in executive, or closed, session.

Kane County State’s Attorney John Barsanti recommended the board release to the public a recording of the April 11, 2005, executive session. He also directed the board to send a press release about the Open Meetings Act violation. The board also will have to be trained on the Open Meetings Act and the Freedom of Information Act, Hewell said.

Hewell said she did not know when the tapes would be released.“That’s [Barsanti’s] decision,” Hewell said.

On April 11, 2005, board members discussed extending Superintendent Barbara Erwin’s contract in executive session, but they never voted on the extension publicly. Still, Erwin’s contract extension was signed by the school board president, the board secretary and Erwin.The board voted June 8, 2007, to ratify Erwin’s contract amendment.

Hewell said acknowledging a violation of the Open Meetings Act will have no bearing on the contract amendment.“The contract amendment was ratified previously so there’s nothing further to be done in that area,” Hewell said.

How the board voted on a resolution to acknowledge a violation of the Open Meetings Act:
Kathy Hewell - yes
Karla Ray - yes
Scott Nowling - yes
Chris Hansen - yes
Robert Lindahl - yes
Lori Linkimer - yes
Jim Gaffney - no

This from the Kane County Chronicle.

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