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

tired of stupidy

Mr. Fox  I know you did your job the best  you could with the tools  you had to work with, the students of Huron Schools are proof of that! Mr Asher and Mr. Caporini are the  voice of reason on the BOE. The rest  have a hidden agenda , but i can smell it from here!!

Tsu Dho Nimh

Sold

I'm not defending Sowecke and I have acknowledged that he may have a grudge. Don't know the politics of the football program.  What I do know is that THREE members of the board feel that THEY have enough information to proceed with the matter.  As a matter of fact, I have never said that Mr. Fox is guilty of anything other than conducting personal business on school email that may look suspicious.  I have stated that the BOARD has the right to pursue this to the next level.

It does sound like you have a personal grudge with Sowecke.  I personally think you give him too much credit.  He does not have the power, or the intelligence, to create a complicated mess that has escalated to this level.  You have shared that you are a good friend of Fox and your locker room statement implies that you are part of the football program.  Perhaps Trackme is correct when saying that you are involved in this mess.

Hmm

Natti, you seem very sure of your opinion, but its just your opinion and has nothing to do with the LAW.  Why are you right and the law is wrong? http://www.ethics.ohio.gov/opinions/2001-03.html

fudge pies

How come they dont check everyones email in the school system for wrong doings? Im sure there is more then just this one? 

TaxRaider

Please go to the Ohio Department of Education website and create a SAFE account and verify that what I have copied below is accurate.  A SAFE account will allow anyone to check on the credentials, BCI/FBI checks, and disciplinary actions of Ohio educators (not just teachers).  I did not copy their names, but the ODE website reveals names and birthdates ... this is public information.

These are few examples of disciplinary actions addressed by the Ohio Ethics Commission.  Educators are held to a higher standard than individuals in the private sector.  Business and industry may tolerate using email accounts for personal matters, misdemeanor count of disorderly conducts, and misdemeanor count of passing bad checks but these issues can lead to losing an educator license.  Pay close attention to the zip codes or school district ..... this is local stuff not some far off big city.

 



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Based upon her inappropriate email communications on a school district computer.

Organization:

Zip Code:

43420

Date of Disciplinary Action:

4/11/2012

Discipline Action: Permanent Revocation

Discipline Notes: SBOE Resolution - Voluntary Surrender

 

 

 

conducted private business matters on school computer during school hours in violation of board policy

Organization:

EHOVE Career Center (051029)

Zip Code:

44839

Date of Disciplinary Action:

6/12/2009

Discipline Action: Letter of Admonishment

 

 

2009 conviction for one minor misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct

Organization:

Western Reserve Local (047746)

Zip Code:

44839

Date of Disciplinary Action:

9/9/2009

Discipline Action: Consent Agreement/Suspension

Discipline Notes: suspended from May 6, 2009 to August 6, 2009

 

 

2008 conviction for one misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct

Organization:

Western Reserve Local (047746)

Zip Code:

44035

Date of Disciplinary Action:

3/9/2011

Discipline Action: Consent Agreement/Suspension

Discipline Notes: Eight-year professional high school teaching license issued in 2003 will be suspended from November 25, 2008 - June 30, 2011.

 

 

use of inappropriate, unkind comments and inappropriate, callous language in the classroom which offended and upset some students

Organization:

Chagrin Falls Exempted Village (045286)

Zip Code:

44035

Date of Disciplinary Action:

8/20/2009

Discipline Action: Letter of Admonishment

 

 

During the fall of the 2010-2011 school year, Respondent allegedly engaged in conduct unbecoming to the teaching profession by establishing a parent-child relationship with a student, sending non-educational text messages to a student, and transporting the student in Respondent's personal vehicle without parental permission.

Organization:

Bellevue City (043596)

Zip Code:

44811

Date of Disciplinary Action:

3/4/2011

Discipline Action: Consent Agreement/Suspension

Consent Agreement Completed: Yes

Consent Agreement Complete Date: 4/26/2011

Discipline Action: Consent Agreement/Suspension

Discipline Notes: Stayed Suspension (suspension period 03/2/10-06/15/12 with suspension stayed except for three day suspension Respondent has already served through her employing district November 3 - November 5, 2010) and Training

 

Conviction for misdemeanor passing bad checks

Organization:

North Point Educational Service Center (125690)

Zip Code:

43410

Date of Disciplinary Action:

October 1999

Discipline Action: Denial

Discipline Notes: No reapplication until on or after December 31, 1999.

Discipline Action: Suspension

Discipline Notes: License suspended until December 31, 1999.

 

 

FruGalSpender

GET A CLUE SANDUSKY REGISTER!!!  KEEP YOUR NEWS TO LOCAL ISSUES AND FORGET ABOUT NATIONAL NEWS!  THE AP AND MAJOR NEWS MEDIA ALREADY COVERS STATE AND NATIONAL NEWS!!!  PEOPLE WANT LOCAL NEWS, VERY TRUTHFUL AND UNBIASED NEWS AND NOT SLANTED!!! GET A CLUE SANDUSKY REGISTER!!!  my cap key must have locked up!!! damn it!! i need a new keyboard. btw, is the best police chief out of prison yet? i heard that he was. will there be a parade?

Natti Light

If I call the Register tonight and say Fred Fox killed Lincoln, does that mean you will think there is something more to the story?  Folks can say what they want, but until they provide actual proof, their words mean nothing.  Period and end of discussion.  Sergant Screwdriver had plenty of opportunity to provide the evidence, but neglected to do so at every turn.  His words are meaningless.

What does his relationship with said Fremont administrator have to do with any of this?  Now we expect him to be the Pope?  Mr. Morality?  He's a school administrator.  Is there any proof to this alleged affair?  If so, where is it?  And doest it matter?  

I don't know anything about the alleged incident at Edison.  What I do know is that back in the 80's and 90's, jammming a kid into a wall was acceptable.  I was jammed against a locker several times at my Catholic elementary school by teachers...yes plural.  The game has changed, and this is no longer acceptable.  Nor should it be.  Is it acceptable for the coaches to stand out on the field and swear at 8th grade football players?  Probably not, but no one seems to care that that takes place every single season.  Discipline in this day and age is a whole new ball game, even at home.  Don't hold that incident against him.

WHADDAYAMEAN

My spouse is a teacher in the huron school system. I can assure you that my spouse is not deleting emails, but is smiling with satisfaction that this crook is getting what he deserves. How foolish you supportes are going to look when it's all laid out before you.  He brought this upon himself and  he is getting what he deserves. Don't worry! Mr. Fox will probably have a new job at kalahari soon. Is that Porsche for sale yet Mr. Fox???????

TaxRaider

Once an email is created, it can never be completely deleted.  If the district wanted to use emails against a teacher they would, in fact they would throw the computer use agreement in the face of the teacher and it is likely they have a records retention policy that defines when an email can be deleted.  What educators and the public fail to realize there is a public records law that says it can all be viewed by the public when requested by the public.  The Sandusky Register would be wise to really push this law, which says a $100 per day fine for a maximum of $1000 will be charged for each document for each day it is not released to the requester. 

For example:  Bucyrus police department was fined for failing to produce daily police logs for a period of years.  The fine quickly added up to millions. 1 police log @ $1,000 for 365 days a year =  $ 365,000 + $ 365,000 for backup tape = $720,000

When you work in the public, you live in a fish bowl. 

 

Natti Light

 Tsu:

No, it is not up to the BOE to contact city managers to handle the business dealings and finances of the school.  The BOE is comprised of "laypeople" that serve as a governing body.  The administration addresses the business dealings of the school, the BOE approves it.  Someone approved all of this Kalahari dealing, and now Sowecke has a burr up his arse and is using it to go after Fred.  Why is this so hard for you to understand?  You either know nothing about how schools are run, or are just flapping at the mouth for no reason.

I state again, if Fred did something wrong, fire him.  But they haven't shown evidence that there was wrong doing.  So how can they start a terminiation???  This doesn't concern you???  

Even IF they have some "hidden" super secret double confidential evidence that has Fred sleeping with Satan, they should wait until OEC rules on this.  Or.....fired him from the outset and dealt with the lawsuit that is sure to come.  But they didn't.  This leads me to believe that 1.  They don't have anything and Sowecke is a moron...OR.....2.  They didn't handle this properly from the beginning, and Sowecke is still a moron.  

Either way, something about this dog "don't" hunt.

TaxRaider

Natti

I agree with you, the BOE has acted incorrectly on this matter.  It appears as though there is enough to warrent an investigation and the OEC should have been the route taken.  Protocol would be a suspension pending the outcome of an investigation to determine any wrong doing.  The outcome of an investigation would determine the next appropriate discipline step.  The OEC does not based their decision solely on criminal law but judges the actions based on conduct unbecoming the teaching profession.

I know nothing about Sowecke.  But when I read the emails published on the Sandusky Register I question why the superindentant would be involved with construction fees or zoning issues and it is conceivable that discounted rooms and fee golf is a thank you for helping save $60,500 in fees. 

I also agree, the BOE does approve or not, what the superindent and treasurer recommends.  Was the BOE provided all of the information when they approved the recommendations?

 

 

 

 

Tsu Dho Nimh
Natti   First I am going to reshare Hmm's post:   Why are you right and the law is wrong? http://www.ethics.ohio.gov/opinions/2001-03.html   Next  I will ask you to read TaxRaider's post regarding the SAFE account at ODE.  If you would take the time to verify this, you will find that throughout the state educators have been disciplined numerous times for the following example:   conducted private business matters on school computer during school hours in violation of board policy  

Discipline for this offense has ranged from a letter sent to the offender to the state dept of ed revoking licenses.  If you don't have a license then you don't have a job. The higher the position, the higher the expectation of morality.  So I guess you can say that Mr. Fox is expected to be Mr. Morality.  You can dislike the law but it doesn't change it.

Natti Light

 Point well taken on the law.  Here's the but:

Fred wasn't invited to a golf outing/party.  Fred sought to do business at one of Todd Nelson's resorts.  Todd offered him a good rate.  That's what the emails state.  If Todd had contacted Fred and said "hey, bring your buddies to a golf party at my expense" that MIGHT be a different story.   Maybe Fred should have just invited his administrative team to someone else's property in Las Vegas, or Hawaii.  Then you could complain about that and how he's wasting taxpayer dollars.

Also, KEY PHRASE IN THE LAW:  "If the gift is given as payment for the performance of his/her official duties."  This phrase basically means that there is going to have to be a blatant violation of this law in order to act upon it.

I get an educator discount for my iPhone, my ATT phone contract, anytime I purchase a computer, tuition, etc.  I guess I should lose my job too.  I guarantee you that just my cell phone discount in 2 years adds up to more than this room/golf discount.

Second, if this email constitutes doing personal business with a school account/computer/whatever, then get ready to fire 99 percent of all educators in the state.

TaxRaider

Natti

School administrators, the Ohio Education Association, local education associations, and teacher educator programs across the state need to explain to anyone working for a school district in any compacity the power of the OEC.  Read my earlier post ... an educator was reprimended for improper use of an email account and the district fired the educator as well.  The educator's email activity was checking out a Pampered Chef order.  Absolutely, 99% of educators could suffer a consequence for the use of their email .... the point is while you are at work, work, and leave personal matters at home.

Tsu Dho Nimh

Natti

You make me laugh!!!!!   Yes, the superintendent does make contacts under normal circumstances but when the circumstances can be considered a conflict in interest, then he hands it to someone else.  What part of what I have been saying do YOU not understand?  I think you would be surprised how much I know about school districts and the role of the board.  Apparently I paid closer attention in educational law classes than Mr. Fox : )

fudge pies

CAN I REQUEST TO SEE EVERYONE'S EMAIL IN THE SYSTEM FOR THE PAST 3 YEARS?  WOULD THEY HAVE TO GIVE ME THEM IF I ASKED?  

 

Does anyone know if how the board went about suspending fox was legally done? 

 

Does anyone know the penalty for breaking the sunshine law?

 

If Fox comes out of this cleared by the Ohio Ethics of any wrong doing,  what would you be asking of the school board to do about it?  Would he be paid for being suspended for wrong accusations?

 

 

TaxRaider

Small Town

Check out this website  http://www.citmedialaw.org/legal...

When requesting public records you do not need to reveal who you are or why you want to see the records.  Keep in mind some information is protected such as social security numbers and information related to pending court cases. (I suspect this is part of the issue with Fred Fox and the BOE attorney).  Also, if the public agency has a records retention policy that states when documents can be destroyed, they are not obligated to fulfil the records request for documents that have been destroyed.  Without a retention policy, the public agency must keep everything. 

It is my understanding that you may request someone emails for a period of 3 years and chances are the BOE would need to have an attorney determine what information in the emails is protected and allow you to see what is not protected, in a timely manner.  If the BOE has a policy that says emails may be deleted at the end of each year, then you will not be able to see what does not exsist. 

Again, check out the link .... don't take my word for it. 

 

 

Tsu Dho Nimh

All of the info has not been released because the board's attorney has not released it.  Why would the board members disregard the advise of the attorney??????

fudge pies

TS. to your knowledge has all 5 board members seen the results from the PROBE? I hear only 3 of them have.  Thats a major violation of the sunshine law.  So whats their penalty?

Tsu Dho Nimh

Small Town

Why would the board attorney only share with 3 of the 5????  The attorney should not have loyalty to specific members.  Do you know something which supports that the other two members are not privy to the report?

 

Tsu Dho Nimh

Small Town

Here is the link to Ohio's Sunshine law: http://www.ohioschoolboards.org/files/sunshine.pdf

In my earlier posts, you will see that I, too, question if the Sunshine Law has been broken.  It is possible that 3 board members discussed this on their own outside of the announced meetings. Technically, three or more cannot meet anywhere or run into one another and discuss board actions.  If it can be proved that this has occurred, then they can be disciplined or removed.  And they should be!

Going back to the issue of whether or not the attorney's report is being kept from Mr. Asher and Mr. Caporini, I find that difficult to believe.  Each board member has the right to request the report but I do not believe that they are required to make it public.

 

scram306@aol.com

Oscar says

From a country with first-hand knowledge of "Troubles"...an Irish saying: "HE THAT SEEKS REVENGE SHOULD FIRST DIG TWO GRAVES".... in this case, maybe more graves than just two. This is serious, nasty stuff, caustic, and life-changing.  An entire community and school system is in upheaval with possible long-lasting consequences.  One man's reputation and livelihood is threatened....a man who did hard work , made the unpopular decisions several years ago  to bring the school system back from the brink to a position now envied by neighboring communities.  One could easily believe that those unpopular decisions and actions could be the reason behind what appears to be a "witchhunt".  But, something about the vitriol, the way things are being done by the BOE that makes me feel the motivation is more ugly and base.  It wouldn't be the first time that one man's jealousy and hatred of another was so self-serving, blind, and destructive.  Please take action, Huron.  

underthebridge

Tsu -  Why would 2 of the BOE members not be privy to the information?  That's why I want to know what their business/professional backgrounds are.   Maybe they received some special favors too. 

Sold On Fox 2

Switching over to the newest article.

Huron City Schools will be so much better by removing this threat to children's futures.. Fred Fox.

A 50 page report saying among other things that Fred received some golf and that he had an 'alleged' affair ?

Waiting for his cell phone records and bathroom log now..

DCoach81

John Caporini owns a part of Huron Cement.... not sure about Kevin Asher... he owned Asher Brother Auto parts but dont think that is still current.....

donutshopguy

 What board members were in office during this problem with abatements with Kalahari ?  I know Mr. Caporini was and I believe Mr. Soweke was not.  Motive for voting "no" on termination of Mr. Fox?  

What board member has a daughter employeed by the school who may have been part of the "elite eight" ?  Board member Asher.  Motive for voting "no" on termination of Mr. Fox?

Look beyond all the yelling and grandstanding at the board meeting.  Is this investigation getting to close for two board members?

Tsu Dho Nimh

doughnut

double like on your last post  ;  )

Outdoor Jane

I don't know about the other things but the golf/hotel thing is absurd.  Who doesn't know someone in business where that person is permitted to give discounts (such as Kohls, they give friends and family coupons to their employees, or a Ford or GM friends and family discount).  It's the CEO of Kalaheri for goodness sakes.  I'm sure he has the autority to give his friends discounts.  It's not like the night clerk slipped him a discount she wasn't authorized to give.  We are talking about someone who is responsible for the entire business, and that's a business decision for the CEO at no cost.  If it' happened, I don't blame Fox for accepting it.

Julie R.

"If it happened, I don't blame Fox for accepting it."

The famous last words of Jimmy Dimora: "I'm no angel but I'm no crook  --- I ain't done nothing any different than any other public official has ever done."  

So where's Jimmy Dimora now?

underthebridge

double like Donut Shop Guy!

 

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