Huron school board moves to oust Fox

An angry crowd shouted protests Tuesday night as Huron School board members voted 3-2 to suspend superintendent Fred Fox and pursue termination proceedings against him.
Jessica Cuffman
Jun 20, 2012

An angry crowd shouted protests Tuesday night as Huron School board members voted 3-2 to suspend superintendent Fred Fox and pursue termination proceedings against him.

Fox was suspended without pay after the board reviewed an investigation into his alleged relationship with Kalahari Resorts CEO Todd Nelson. (Read more HERE.) The details of the investigation have not been released.

Last month, the board voted to send the investigation to the Ohio Ethics Commission for review. Tuesday's vote also sends the investigation to the Ohio Department of Education as termination proceedings against Fox move forward.

For full coverage of the heated school board meeting, pick up copy of Wednesday's Register.

Comments

Sold On Fox 2

Natti Lite-

Another hit on the 'LIKE' button !

You scored with your points.

fudge pies

The more this comes unglued the more It reminds me of Jim Tressel.  first we know this little,  then we know this little bit,  then poof, we find out alot !   then we have him saying how hes sorry for misleading people. I hope for Fox's sake this is not him.  I hope for his sake the worst thing he did was get discount on golf.

This relationship with the women is concerning.

The bullying incident at the school that was left out to dry concerns me.

Somewhere in this pile of muck is something else we don't know about, and by saying we I am talking the media as well..

I didnt choose to go to the board meeting, because #1. I new the BOE would not say anything to what they have on investigation.  #2. Yelling and screaming in support doesnt do any good.  #3. And if you yell and scream in support and you find out later he was covering some things up then you just made a fool of yourself in his defense.

Once the Ohio Ethics releases its investigation, I'll figure on who to question on the board.

I said before, if he did nothing wrong, he has nothing to worry about!  But by the reaction of himself, and the two board members in his defense, Im a little worried for him right now.

 

I like Fred. he is a  real gentlemen. So I am hoping for the best.

 

 

 

Natti Light

 Tsu:

Acting as the district's appointed official, it is in the superintendents best interest to let the council/manager know what is in the best interest for the school system regarding abatements, etc.  These guys/gals all work hand in hand on this type of activity.  In communities where they don't, someone always loses...and it's usually the school system.   I believe it's referred to as "playing politics".

Tsu Dho Nimh

Natti

I don't doubt that there is truth to what you shared  and I get that you don't like Sowecke.  Because of my dealings with him at Ace, I chose NOT to vote for him and will not visit his store. But I do agree with Tmm.  We cannot ignore what appears to be a conflict of interest and the board has to turn it over.  Perhaps if all five members would have worked together and done the right thing several months ago, it would not have gotten this ugly.  The problem, in my opinion, is that two members have friendships with Mr. Fox that clouded their judgement of how to handle this. Also, one board member found an opportunity to get his revenge.  No matter how someone feels about Fred Fox, his emails suggests inappropriate interactions with Kalahari.  Let ODE and the OEC solve this.  Be careful of what you defend because you might find out that good people make really big mistakes.

fudge pies
donutshopguy says

"So did Mr. Swoeke get rehird as a volunteer football coach last night"

 

No he did not 2-2 vote.  "Conflict of Interest"

 

 

Natti Light

 Tmm:

1.  I don't know who the 8 were.  I would ASSUME: Fox, Weis, Ruf, Asher, Munafo, Carter, Doughty and VonThron (would Blodgette be in the mix?  Don't know)

2.  What happens when an official uses his position to influence a tax abatement?  I would hope nothing, if it's in the best interest of the official's company/school/city.  That's his/her job.  If I think an abatement will benefit my school, I'm going to do everything I can legally do to persuade granting the abatement.

3.  If an individual receives a kickback?  Seriously?  You fire them.  Period.  Can anyone prove that Fred received a kickback?  Not yet.  Is a free round of golf a legitimate kickback for an abatement worth many thousands?  I seriously doubt it.

If they are holding something much more serious back, then it needs to be released.  The man deserves the right to defend himself.  If he's guilty of something more than what is brought to light, fine.  But so far, nothing they have pushed out even comes close to an event that should result in termination.

 

Small:  What relationship with women?  What bullying incident?  Where is this info coming from.  Again, stop alluding to things, and tell the story.  Was this in the printed version of the Register??

Sold On Fox 2

Natti Lite-

You seem very informed on the Huron City Schools, but I detect a 'real world' business savvy that would be lacking in most publicly employed persons. Could you be my lawyer ?

This wasn't even free golf, Natti.. It was a discount.

Rumor #1 - Isn't there always a female in all good rumors ? Why would we expect the Superintendent not to have a 'girlfriend' when other highly public figures in Huron's past have had them ? Fred Fox is one of the kindest, gentlest family men I have ever known.

Rumor #2 - Bullying Incident.. Supposidly Fred jacked a kid from Milan against a wall. This shall remain allegidly as when you are in a position like Fred's people seem to come up with all kinds of stories about you. If Fred lived in a glass house on the lawn of the high scholl maybe then people would see the truth. Of course other's involved here MAY live in glass houses and shouldn't throw footballs.

Rumor #3 - Selling influence ? You have covered this one. For discounted golf ? Let's all get back to reality.

The real story is that there are fueds in Huron. Family fueds. People are either born into or 'adopted' into families and the families rarely get along unless there's something one has that the other wants. Politics makes for strange bedfellows.

Keep typing Natti.. You're making more sense than most on here or in the streets. Maybe you could run for some soon to be vacated Board of Ed seats ?

Sold On Fox 2

PS..

Natti.. SOWecke has already done what he set out to do.

Fred Fox cannot possibly work with this board in Huron. This is like a superintendent's rule. They cannot work with a 3-2 board.

This will not, however, hurt Fred's chances to get another better paying / less stress superintendent's position. The job he's done speaks for itself.

So Huron... Lost Fred.. Stuck with SOWecke and his high priced hardware.. What a bargain !

(And to some of the posts under this one: I do consider myself lucky to be a friend of Fred Fox. He is a man of integrety and it will all come out in the wash. And no... not a disgruntled female ex-board member.. not even female can't you see my identifying picture ? Is it a coincidence that the very same picture of Elvis hangs in the Huron Tiger Football Locker Room ? Coincidence or a clue as to what is really going on here ?)..

Sold On Fox 2

Listen to Natti Lite..

I feel the same. If/When all this turns out to be a pile of excretement and the 'Three Stooges' Soweckied Fred.. I hope all of them are ruined and actually serve time.

This is serious business with serious charges over a golf discount.

A man, Fred Fox, could lose all he has worked for because some guy who wants to sell hardware to the school and is old buddies with some other high profile dubious charactors has decided to ruin him.  Fred Fox does not deserve this. No one does who has worked as hard as Fred.

Ruin = SERIOUS

This is no game. It's not like football where when you lose another playoff game you get to coach again next year. This is permanent damage. 

donutshopguy

 The old adage "where there is smoke there is fire" probally holds true.  Public officials (superintendent) sometime after they have been in power a little too long get a little lazy, cut a few corners and take a few chances.

It doesn't take very long to compile a list of questionable actions.  In most cases, a school board would not take these serious actions unless they had an airtight case.  

Just conjecture but doesn't it seen suspicious the high school principal left immediately prior to this situation. Doesn't it seem suspicious that one of the school board members, who voted against the dismissal, has a daughter who is the athletic director. Was she a member of the "elite eight" who joined Mr. Fox on his excursion?

So if Mr. Soweke was not hired as a  football coach which "agenda" or "vendetta" does that fall under?

Can't wait for it to all play out.   

Tsu Dho Nimh

I want to make sure I understand your point.  It is okay for the school superintendent to ask the building department to waive fee's for his good friend's business.  Is this what you are saying?  If so, Mr. Fox should have given this to a board member to handle so there would not be a conflict in interest.  Or did the board even know this conversation was happening?  It really sounds like you have a close, personal friendship with Fred Fox.

Natti Light

 Tsu:

I have no problem with them turning info over to the Ethics Commission.  But the Ethics Commission hasn't ruled, and may not even bother looking into this.  HOW then, did they come to the conclusion to suspend him and start termination proceedings??  Completely unwarranted and totally circumvents due process.

I'm defending based on what is known.  If there is something "unknown", then 1.  Why isn't it known? and 2.  If warranted, I wouldn't be defending him.  I never referred to Fred as Saint Fox.  I'm just saying that what they are doing, based on the evidence, is complete and total BS.  If this is all Sowecke has, I hope this ruins his business.  Ruins it.  You don't ruin another man's life just for the heck of it.

All of us can only base our debates on what the BOE has said.  Period.  My guess is Sowecke wants to create an uproar so we reach a point where keeping Fred is more trouble than it's worth.  Happens all the time.  Until he can prove differently, that's the information I'm going with.

Sunlight is the best disinfectant.  My best guess is that Sowecke has nothing.

Sold On Fox 2

To quote Natti Lite as what he has said makes as much sense as I've read on here, or the hard copy Register, or heard 'on the streets'..

'I'm defending based on what is known. If there is something "unknown", then 1. Why isn't it known? and 2. If warranted, I wouldn't be defending him. I never referred to Fred as Saint Fox. I'm just saying that what they are doing, based on the evidence, is complete and total BS. If this is all Sowecke has, I hope this ruins his business. Ruins it. You don't ruin another man's life just for the heck of it.

All of us can only base our debates on what the BOE has said. Period. My guess is Sowecke wants to create an uproar so we reach a point where keeping Fred is more trouble than it's worth. Happens all the time. Until he can prove differently, that's the information I'm going with.

Sunlight is the best disinfectant. My best guess is that Sowecke has nothing.'

I'm with Natti.

And as I said before..
Now Huron..
We can once again leave our doors unlocked and feel secure now that Fred Fox is off the streets.
(Wait.. I guess he's kind of on the streets now ?)

Thank you huron Board of Education for so diligently watching over our tax dollars,
(that Fred Fox put in the bank)..

Natti Light

 Yeah.  You're right.  I have a close personal friendship with Fox.  I also know who killed JFK and where Jimmy Hoffa is buried.

If that tax abatement benefits Huron City Schools?  Then yes, it's perfectly ok.  It's called doing his job.

Todd:  Fred, buddy 'ol pal, if we get a tax abatement we will build you a new stadium.  Can you talk to the city council?

Fred:  Sorry buddy, I can't.  That's improper.  Instead, we'll give you an abatement and get nothing in return.

It doesn't work that way.  If Fred was promised items not related to the City Schools, but for personal gain, then there is a problem.  But that's not what happened.  So stop playing the "what if" game and go with the facts.  I know, that's not as much fun.

Tsu Dho Nimh

For a moron and a nobody, Tim  "Mr. Hardware" Sowecke sure has a lot of smarts and control.  Turning this over to the Ohio Department of Education to rule on the seriousness of this situation is one of several appropriate ways to handle the situation.  You or I could turn this into ODE for investigation.  It is real simple, if ODE choses to pull his superintendents license, then the board has to fire him.

Sold On Fox 2

Tsu Dho Nimh-

It sounds like you admire this bully ? What is there to admire about someone who has done nothing trying to interupt the life of someone who has accomplished so much ?

Better yet.. Why would this man do this to anyone ?

And when we all find out that it was a lot about nothing.. What then ?

concerned huron...

But as far as anyone knows, neither the Ethics Committee nor ODE have made any decisions, so why are the 3 board members pursuing termination at this point?  If either ODE or the Ethics Committee did make a decision, then why didn't they share it with the other 2 board members?  If Fox did something that needed to be investigated, why waste money and hire someone independently when the Ohio Ethics Committee would have done the investigation for free?  Why, after introducing the recommended candidate for high school principal, did Sowecke state that he wanted a moral clause put into the candidate's contract?  Why did the board have to make such a big issue of adding moral clauses to contracts "going forward" in front of the potential high school principal?  It appears that this man has not been hired, nor officially offered, the position of high school principal.  Is the board's goal to scare him and any other potetial candidates away?  How many people would want to stay and work for a dysfunctional school board?  Maybe the board has legitimate reasons but the way they are going about it is only harming the district and its students.  You would think that the board would want to have legal counsel present to ensure that the actions they were taking last night were lawful, but there was no legal counsel present.  They seemed to be shooting from the hip. 

Sold On Fox 2

Concerned Huron-

You have a lot of legitimate 'whys' and as a member of the taxpaying Huron community YOU deserve answers !

This part is especially concerning:

'How many people would want to stay and work for a dysfunctional school board? Maybe the board has legitimate reasons but the way they are going about it is only harming the district and its students. You would think that the board would want to have legal counsel present to ensure that the actions they were taking last night were lawful, but there was no legal counsel present. They seemed to be shooting from the hip.'

Concerned Huron.. Please keep asking these questions !

fudge pies

Natti- read the article in the hard copy of the night paper.  BOE Pres. states its "more then that" meaning more then the friendship with nelson. and they're protecting individuals within the investigation" 

 

that to me says there is something we probably dont know about.

also he was asked about his relationship with a fremont female administrator.     the paper lists he has several emails and texts with her, mostly during school . 

Im concerned over the extent of that relationship.  

 

there was a bullying incident at one of the schools earlier in the year that didnt sound like it was handled all to well.   I believe the mother had commented on another subject earlier last month. 

 

but maybe its something else?  who knows.  Again once the Ethics releases their findings we will know who to questoin. until then   its the roller coaster ride. 

 

the real losers to this are the kids, and the taxpayers.  the kids can't get back anything,  the tax payers can VOTE NO on levies in the future and remove all 5 board members .

Sold On Fox 2

Small Town-

I believe Slocum is referring to 'protecting sources of information'..

You are totally right.. The real losers are the kids.. and the taxpayers.. and Fred Fox's kids.

trackme

SOLD ON FOX 2  I think you might be involved in this mess? and maybe some of the cause of fred problems! it sound like your trying to protect yourself your the x school board member

Sold On Fox 2

trackme..

That's good. Actually trackme it is impossible for me to be involved in this mess
and for reasons that you really do not need to know,
(See.. the Huron Board of Education isn't the only one's who have secrets.. lol).

I'm just a concerned citizen 'apparently ?', like yourself.

I have no affiliation with Fred Fox, Kalahari, the Huron City Schools, Ace Hardware or the Huron Board of Education.

I have watched Fred Fox lead the Huron City Schools to the place they belonged. And now.. I'm watching some very agended, (if that's a word.. it means they have a secret agenda, trackme), anyways.. I'm watching these people tear everything down that so many people have worked for.

No one is tracking my email or my golf game, trackme.

You sound like you could be Tim 'Mr Hardware' SOWecke ? Who are you protecting ?

Tsu Dho Nimh

Natti

Please read what I wrote.  If Fox was asked to talk with Zimmerman, he should have turned that conversation over to a board member to handle.  Certainly one of the five members at the time could have spoken to the building department about waiving fees if that is what it took.  Common sense tells me that people question when friends do the bidding.  BTW, the discounted trip happened after the stadium was completed.  Double check the emails -  the golf fees were covered by Todd Nelson. Could be viewed as a thank you.

Sold On Fox 2

Tsu Dho Nimh-

Board members set school policy and hire a superintendent and treasurer.

That's it.

They do not go talk to John Zimmerman about anything affecting the schools unless it's just friendly conversation. This would be Fred Fox's, (the superintendent's), job.

wiredmama222

The ODE will not only look at the paperwork that this board sent, they will probably come up and speak to people.  I sincerely doubt that they are going to take this boards word for it. 

But I do have a questions for thos of you who support Mr. Fox?  How many of you have thought to write to the ODE showing your support???   That could go a long way in helping him.  I doubt that they have yet to determine what their decision is going to be.  It usually takes them awhile to make a decision and I would think a wire or a registered letter would help. 

It sounds as if you guys in Huron have a renegade DOE on your hands, members who do as they wish, when they wish.  Do they have the power to dismiss the Superintendent without cause and without hearing from the ODE?  They seem to be in a big hurry to get rid of this guy.  Why is that? 

I cannot help but wonder why they do not want anyone to see the "investigation" they conducted and if it is all based on two or three emails?  If that is all they have, they are in deep water.  If there is more, they should have shown it.  This is really unfair to Mr. Fox.  Every accused man has the right to see what he is accused of and face his accusers.  This man hasn't been given that opportunity at all, has he? What a shame.  This board really has violated the sunshine law.  I would look that up in the new "yellow book" folks.  It's pretty specific. 

Sold On Fox 2

WiredMama222-

You hit the nail on the head, too !

'I cannot help but wonder why they do not want anyone to see the "investigation" they conducted and if it is all based on two or three emails? If that is all they have, they are in deep water. If there is more, they should have shown it. This is really unfair to Mr. Fox. Every accused man has the right to see what he is accused of and face his accusers. This man hasn't been given that opportunity at all, has he? What a shame. This board really has violated the sunshine law. I would look that up in the new "yellow book" folks. It's pretty specific.'

and also:

'They seem to be in a big hurry to get rid of this guy. Why is that? '

I only wish someone besides the 'Three Stooges' knew the answer to that.

concerned huron...

If people are correct that the school board has violated the Sunshine Law and it can be proven, then the residents of Huron should start a recall process against the offending members.

According to Hollie Reedy, chief legal counsel for the Ohio School Boards Association, there are statutes that allow for the removal of a school board member for gross neglect of duty, misfeasance, malfeasance and nonfeasance.

“There is a process in the Ohio Revised Code, 3.07 and 3.08, under general provisions, for the removal of a school board member,” Reedy said. “There has to be accusations of misconduct, that can be proven, and the complaint must be filed in common pleas court.”

Petitions listing those charges must be signed by qualified electors living in the school district. The number of signatures must be at least 15 percent of the total votes cast for governor in the most recent election.

“This is not a recall vote which is basically a popularity contest,” Reedy said. “This is not about a difference of opinion on how the district should be run. There must be proof of misconduct, not that we disagree with you or we just don’t like you.”

“In court, they must prove misconduct. There has to be an element of ‘knowing.’ Nonfeasance is not doing what you needed to do. Misfeasance is making a mistake doing what you legally can do and malfeasance is doing something you knew was against the law and doing it any way. It has happened where board members have been removed, but it is not frequent.”

The above info came from this link: http://www.presspublications.com/from-the-press/9508-oregon-petition-to-oust-school-board-members-circulating

Sold On Fox 2

'malfeasance is doing something you knew was against the law and doing it anyway'

BINGO !

Sold On Fox 2

Wait:

Nonfeasance is not doing what you needed to do.   - Greene

Misfeasance is making a mistake doing what you legally can do. - Slocum

Malfeasance is doing something you knew was against the law and doing it anyway. - SOWecke

Let me try that again:

BINGO !

DickTracey

To qualify to become a member of a School Board, all you have to do is get is enough Hill Jacks, neighbors and groupies to vote for you.

To qualify to become a Superintendent, you need a Masters, a lot of EXPERIENCE, and go through a number of grueling interviews.

So, basically, any loser with an agenda can become a member of a school board and pretend they are of some importance.

I'm sorry for you, Mr. Fox, your a well educated professional, playing games with a bunch of wanna be rock stars.

 

 

P.S. How bad do you have to be, to be turned down, as a VOLUNTEER coach!? You want to volunteer your time and "talents" and they do not even want you, for free?!

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