Markling gets payday in Huron's Fred Fox probe

A lawyer whose report divided the school board and the community got paid $90,000 by the school district despite concerns about his invoices.
Jessica Cuffman
Mar 7, 2013

Click the links below to review the Markling invoices, summaries, notes and letter to Markling.

Attorney Matt Markling reduced some charges to Huron Schools for the investigation after another school attorney questioned details on his itemized statements, according to documents released by a Huron school board member.

But before any board members could ask the district's long-time attorney, Dane Gaschen, to review the last of the six invoices to the district for work rendered during the past year, the split board voted last month to pay the balance of his $90,000 bill.

Click here for the e*Paper or get a copy of the Register at a newsstand near you to find out what might happen next week after a ruling comes from a state education official.

Markling submitted the bills in June, July, October, November and February, racking up thousands in taxpayer debt as one school board member — Kevin Asher — fought to keep from paying the original $50,000 bill for the Markling report.

The 50-page Markling Report divided the community and led to Superintendent Fred Fox's firing. The report questioned his relationship with a district vendor, expenses from a trip to Arizona and use of school time and computers to conduct an extramarital relationship.

Now, more than a year after launching the investigation, one part of the saga is nearing a climax with a Department of Education hearing officer’s recommendation regarding Fox's termination due on Monday. The report from hearing officer Harry Taich will recommend whether Fox should be fired or reinstated to his position.

Meanwhile, Asher continues to question the validity of the Markling Report, the invoices and the decisions that led to Marking's involvement. 

The Markling invoices include time billed for work he did to make sure he got paid. He also charged for work defending a lawsuit filed by Asher, without any apparent authorization from the board, and billed for time spent reading newspaper articles, editorials and letters to the editor about the Fox case.

The invoices, summaries and letters are linked below. 



A blogger by any other name would sound just as desperate. Could somebody please update us? Has there been any public records requests this week? They're FREE, right?


Don't know if HHGuy is "Sold" but it is clear that he isn't a resident who just has an opinion. He is clearly an involved party and ought to be nervous about tomorrow.


Could someone answer this question for me? Someone gave the newspaper the bills for the investigation and I'm pretty sure it wasn't Slocum, Green, or Sowecke. A vote hasn't taken place to make them public record or at least it isn't in the board minutes. So how could either of the remaining two be acting in a legal capacity when he (or they) handed over the bill? HHG educated us by posting "Because all powers of the Board lie in its action as a group, individual members should exercise their authority over District affairs only as they vote to take action at a legal meeting of the Board. An individual Board member has power only when the Board, by vote, has delegated authority to him/her." Doesn't sound like one or maybe two of the board members think that they have to follow the rules.

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You know, Whazup, that is a good question.

The notes on the edges should give you a hint.

I am going to 'assume' that when the board voted to pay the bills they became a matter of public record. Call the treasurer and ask. Invoices generally go through his office.


Don't call the treasurer. Sold will use his magic powers and find out who you are !!!!!!!!

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Those of you following this debacle should read the post above and be appald.

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From the Morning Journal:

"I find that the district failed to meet its burden of proof in this matter with substantial, reliable and probative evidence, that was credible to support the ground of 'for good and just cause' to terminate the superintendent's contract of employment," Taich wrote. "On the contrary, I find that the credible evidence offered by the superintendent at the hearing overwhelmingly established by a preponderance of substantial, reliable and probative evidence that Superintendent Fox's contract of employment should not be terminated by the board, based upon the evidence at the hearing and the charges against him."


$90,000 later and where are we? Nowhere!