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State Ethics Committee finds violation of executive session law by Oakridge School Board: letter issued

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By GEORGE CUSTER/The Herald  —  On December 7, 2021, The Oregon State Government Ethics Commission issued a stipulated final order in the matter of a complaint filed with the commission by Nicole Sulick of Oakridge in December of 2020. The complaint alleged that the School Board discussed items that were outside of the agenda items for discussion. The Commission stated that ” The matters discussed at the December 14, 2020 executive session were not limited to matters involving labor negotiations with persons designated by the governing body to carry on labor negotiations but went beyond matters authorized by ORS 192.660(2)(d). The actions constituted one violation of ORS 192.660.

The complaint

In the complaint, Ms. Sulick named School Board members: John Weddle, Susan Hardy, Tami Edmunds, Kevin Martin, and Mikal McPherson, together known as the Respondents.  Directors Martin, Hardy, and McPherson are still serving on the Oakridge School Board. Directors Weddle and Edmunds are no longer on the Board (they chose not to run for re-election last May).

She indicated that this particular violation happened while the Board was “addressing” the Public Complaint that she had submitted December 2020 regarding the poor job performance of Superintendent Doland.

The members were accused of being in violation of executive session provisions in Oregon Public Meeting laws. ORS 244.260(12) provides that the Commission may enter into a negotiated settlement with the Respondents at any time.

The settlement

At its meeting on December 3, 2021, the Commission approved a negotiated settlement of these matters. The terms set forth indicated that the Respondents were each issued a Letter of Education, rather than a fine.

The letter from the Commission failed to address all of Ms. Sulick’s allegations.

Comments are closed.

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