School update -- UPDATE IIII | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

School update -- UPDATE IIII

Posted By on Tue, May 1, 2007 at 9:18 AM

The Little Rock School Board meeting is at 5:30 p.m. Of course Board members Mitchell and Daugherty should have school district-paid lawyers to represent them over actions they took as board members.

A brief word on that lawsuit filed against them: I think it's of dubious merit. Lawsuits over violation of board policy and to prevent imagined damage? But it certainly blows some helpful smoke for Brooks. If it does go to a hearing and they honestly pursue the threadbare FOI argument, I hope we can get ALL board members on the stand to talk about private conversations they've had with other board members and actions taken by some of those in the minority to Curry favor with those in the majority.

NOTED: As yet, no response from Superintendent Brooks on our request that he release the particulars which a Board majority says justifies his firing. Those who've been clamoring to see this list perhaps should call the superintendent. It's in his hands.

UPDATE: I heard that Board president Mitchell has scheduled a May 7 hearing on the board vote to suspend Brooks as superintendent and May 30 to consider the board vote that he be fired. No press notice has been sent. I'm not aware what messages have been delivered to other board members.

UPDATE II: A spokesman for Brooks says he will NOT release the letter giving reasons for his firing. A "personnel matter," she says, though he'd earlier given every indication he would be happy to do so. Those of you unhappy with the board majority for not sharing reasons for the action, you may now turn your ire elsewhere.

UPDATE III: Now comes the high-dollar Williams and Anderson firm with a letter trying to prevent the School Board from meeting tonight as Mitchell has asked. They also are pressing the School Board to not pay legal expenses for Mitchell and Daughtery. They allege that the two school board members have been avoiding service of their lawsuit.

It is clearly within the board's power to decide to represent Mitchell and Daugherty in this case if they choose, no matter how badly Brooks and his expensive mouthpieces may wish otherwise. If left to the devices of this law firm (which also represents Brooks' buddy Walter Hussman), Democratically elected board members Mitchell and Daugherty would no longer be able to participate in any action that might involve Brooks. I presume that eventually could include simple operation of the school district should -- God help us all -- he survive the effort to terminate him.

The letter also appears to argue that the board has no power to have a meeting to suspend Brooks.

Readers should not be misled by the language craftily used by Brooks' lawyers. There's no law of which I'm aware that requires a School Board member to enter a decision to terminate a superintendent as a neutral arbiter. Brooks cannot create a "conflict of interest" by suing them as a means to thwart the will of an elected board.

Let me repeat myself: Buy Brooks out and end this legal war that Williams and Anderson is spoiling to turn into Jarndyce v. Jarndyce. Roy Brooks, who always said he was far the kids, is well on his way to spending up what little treausre of goodwill might be left in this school district. And suppose he wins? What a hollow victory that will be. The Board should buy him out and move on.

PS -- Brooks' attorney Jess Askew (does Brooks ever speak for himself? and have you ever wondered what his reluctance to speak in public says about his communication skills?) says Brooks will release the bill of particulars against his client after attorneys have reviewed it, perhaps tomorrow, "after a thorough review."

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