UPDATE: State referee says Fred Fox should be reinstated with full pay

Read the referee's report here from a state department of education hearing officer who delivered a 53-page report this morning that appears to exonerate fired Huron Schools superintendent Fred Fox.
Alissa Widman Neese
Mar 11, 2013

 

Click here to read the referee's report.

The Huron school board wrongfully fired superintendent Fred Fox, according to an Ohio Department of Education hearing officer.

Board members received a report Monday recommending they reinstate Fox with full back pay, a move that could cost the district $100,000 or more if approved.

School officials refused to release the report, contending it was not a public record, but Fox's attorney, Patrick Murray, provided the Register a copy.

In the 53-page report, state hearing officer Harry Taich said the school board failed to provide "substantial, reliable and probative evidence" to terminate Fox last year.

"In my opinion, after hearing all of the testimony in this matter, it was quite apparent to this referee that personal feelings appeared to replace sound judgment," Taich stated in the report.

In June, the board voted 3-2 to fire Fox for his alleged misdeeds, including an improper business relationship with a district vendor, improperly seeking reimbursements for a trip to Arizona and an extramarital affair on school time.

The board contended the behavior was detrimental to Huron Schools, but Taich said this wasn't the case.

"The district failed to establish by credible evidence that Mr. Fox's inappropriate relationship with the other school district principal hampered his effectiveness as a superintendent," the report stated. "On the contrary, the overwhelming evidence did establish that the district has thrived under his leadership."

The board is expected to take action on Fox's termination at its monthly meeting next week. An executive session to review the state's recommendation is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, with no action planned until the regular board meeting three days later.

Board members Kevin Asher and John Caporini, who voted against Fox's firing, said at last month's meeting they would vote in favor of the state's recommendation — no matter what it said.

After reading Taich's report, Asher said he hopes the entire board will do the same and "move on." He encouraged community members to attend Tuesday's meeting to voice their opinions on the matter.

"We have budget issues, negotiations with our classified staff union and more important things to be worrying about than this nonsense," Asher said. "This has taken a year away from us doing the job we were elected to do. We need to get back to the business of this school."

Board president Scott Slocum and board member Tim Sowecke did not return calls seeking comment Monday.

Register reporter Jessica Cuffman contributed to this story.

*

Want to go?

What: Huron school board meeting

When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 19

Where: Shawnee Elementary School cafeteria

*

Fox timeline

•February 2012 — Board meets with attorney Matt Markling to discuss allegations made against superintendent Fred Fox, including an improper business relationship with a district vendor, improperly sought reimbursements for a trip to Arizona and an extramarital affair on school time.

•May — Markling delivers 50-page report to board.

•June 19 — Board suspends Fred Fox and votes to start termination proceedings against him.

•June 20 — Markling report is released as a public record.

•June 28 — Board member Kevin Asher files lawsuit to keep board from paying Markling bill.

•Sept. 6 — Fox's attorney, Patrick Murray, answers 23 allegations against Fox that the board says warrants his termination.

•Sept. 12 — Fox files a lawsuit against board member Tim Sowecke, alleging defamation and libel and demanding more than $2.5 million in damages.

•January 2013 — Fox's closed-door termination hearings end.

•Feb. 13 — Asher's lawsuit is dismissed.

•Feb. 18 — Board approves paying full amount of $90,000 Markling bill.

•March 11 — Ohio Department of Education's hearing officer recommends reinstating Fox with full back pay.

*

Click here for the ePaper or buy a Register at a newsstand near you to learn what's next for Fred Fox and the Huron school board. Check back here at sanduskyregister.com for updates as they become available. 

Comments

Ακόμη Sold σχετ...

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

nobodyfromnowhere

Congrats Sold you did call this one right.

Still Sold

Nobody From Nowhere-
Thank you. At least you were one to see the trees through the leaves !

Lil DAB

:-) Good call. I'm smiling inside.

Ακόμη Sold σχετ...

The race is on..

I think the Journal is going to scoop the Register.

Still Sold

And they did..

Clark W

While the school board may not have to release the report yet, there's nothing stopping Mr. Fox or his lawyer from releasing it.
In this case, the SR should be free to post it.

Ακόμη Sold σχετ...

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Lengthy excerpts from other websites.

Still Sold

Well..
I did post the Journal's article above, but 'Big Brother' removed my post and me.. It reads the same today.. lol

UgtaBkdnMe

Funny, I thought you were "Big Brother".

Ακόμη Sold σχετ...

Posted..

Ακόμη Sold σχετ...

"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."

Ummm... This is me smiling.. Broadly.

SilentMajority

So now the question....how do you move forward with this whole mess...there is no simple answer. Simplying re-instating and having the 3 resign does not undo all of the damage. In my humble opinion, the best way is for Fox to get a large settlement (at the taxpayers expense), a clean slate and move on. All 5 board members should also be replaced immediately. I honestly don't think our school system stands a chance of passing any kind of levy or can move forward any other way.

srblogger

why should all 5 board members resign when two of them were against this entire thing from the get go? i agree settle and parties seperate.

Still Sold

I'm with ya, SR !

UgtaBkdnMe

So how much of a settlement are YOU looking for ?

underthebridge

When the attorney for the school district did not want the document released, I pretty much knew the findings were in favor of Fred Fox.

HHGUY

Sold - not sure if you have had the chance yet. But I have read the ruling 2 times. I can tell you this – Murray and Fred will be rich. Not one single shred of evidence against Fred – in fact, Mr. Taich did say he thought that the whole thing was “personal”. He lauded Mr. Fox for his exemplary performance in the District. Based on this ruling, it is clear that SOWecke, Hastings-Green and Slocum must immediately step down. We also need to commend Caporini and Asher for standing tall. Hasting-Green could be in trouble for some potential criminal action about a sign – not sure what this is all about. Will be interesting to see how all this feeds into the SOWecke lawsuit. I’m guessing the suit will be revised to include others and a larger claim. There is 2700 pages of testimony submitted that is on the record and cannot ever be refuted. I guess we will find out how the the “old washed up attorney Murray will stand up against the “young upstart from Cleveland”. My reconnaissance says that in the Motion for Summary Judgment he, the Cleveland upstart, was way, way off target. Additionally – I have emails that clearly show the conspiracy between a coach in Huron and one Board member. More to come.

srblogger

unless you are a board member, why would you have such an email in your posession?

Tsu Dho Nimh

HHGuy(aka Sold on Fox)has connections. Wonder who would give him what he wants? I bet it doesn't cost him a thing because it's all FREE, MAN! We know who his connection is and after reading the report, giving out information isn't the only thing his "connection" is dishonest about.

Still Sold

TDN-
Sold on Fox in any language is Still Sold, but not HHGuy.
While I assume HHGUY is a guy, I don't believe he has posted anything that is an assumption. Refute something he said.. Go ahead. Dare you !

UgtaBkdnMe

You DARE him ????

Huron_1969

and my disappointment grows
First, Fred Fox
Second, the school board
Third, the legal system

but I shouldn't be... if Bill Clinton can escape impeachment by twisting the meaning of the word "is", I guess anything can happen

Wonder what the OEC will say....

but I made a bet with Sold...... pass the crow please

Still Sold

Thanks for the crow buffet, Huron_1969.

You were honest about your feelings during the last year and I can't fault you for that.

You and some others have been a pleasure to 'joust' with here.

Wald

Sowecke, Green, and Slocum should be forced to resign from the BOE immediately. Hopefully Fred files a lawsuit that cleans them all out.

Still Sold

LIKE that, Wald !

HHGUY

Check the Lorain Jouranl web site. They have all the detail and have beat the Sandusky Register to the real story. Moderators will probably remove this -- but it is a fact. The word I have heard is that the 3-stooges are scheduling a press conference for tomorrow to resign.

Julie R.

So how did the Journal get the story before the Register? Same way the Journal got the decision by the retired Lorain County fix-it judge Cirigliano in the Nuesse case before even Nuesse did?

I personally can't stand the Journal. They only write what the good 'ole boys in Erie County tell them to write. I also would love to know how much of Erie County tax dollars have gone to Lorain and Cuyahoga County in the last 10 or more years. After all, isn't that where most of Erie County's favorite old retired rent-a-judges and hired law firms hail from?

There you go again

Fred is guilty any way you look at it. He admitted his guilt regarding his affair and improper use of school email. Enough said. You can go politics and personal but he is guilty and Huron does not need that kind of person running our school system.

Tsu Dho Nimh

No, we certainly do not!

james4

time for them all to go...Huron, clean your house NOW!

Retiree

O.J.Simpson, Casey Anthoney and now Fox. The people of Huron now know what is ment by "white collar crime". Don't feel bad Huron, if your school board is credible they will still get rid of him. After all Huron, there are still questions about the affair on taxpayer's dollars, sale of the bus for a dollar, toolgate, the purchase of tools in quantity of three, the sheriff's report, the camera's turned off and the tape missing. The Huron taxpayer should be demanding the truth on these matters. Don't worry Huron, that was only a recommendation by an neutral party not an arbitrator. That was only one persons recommendation that means nothing. I still would like to know when there is going to be a "garage sale" at the Huron bus garage. Looking foward to that. Talk to you later.

There you go again

Agreed. But how can Huron demand the truth?! What can be done when some arbitrator says Fox shouldn't be fired even though Fred himself admitted to his daliances? Makes no sense but Huron should not accept this behavior of the head of their schools!

srblogger

bingo. here is what should take place, lets end this. settlement, pay him back pay, rest of his contract, get him off our plate, we replace BOE members in due time. figure out how you're going to cut money to pay off this rediculous debt you created thru this mess which will be about a million bucks. and figure out how you're going to go another 5 years w/o asking for a levy. because the vote is NO.

nobodyfromnowhere

They get rid of him then their insurance company gets rid of the District and they are on the hook for all cost which will surely run into the high five figures at least. This decision came out very strongly on the side of Fox and even high lighted more how badly the situation was handled by the board and their pathetic $90,000 excuse for an investigation. The errors and omissions seem even more deliberate after reading this decision. The board would be very wise to quickly seek a negotiated settlement with Mr. Fox something I'm sure their insurance company will be STRONGLY advocating after today.

Still Sold

Well said Nobody !

RUKidding

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

Huron_1969

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

Darwin's choice

Prove any of them........you bunch of hens cackling can whine all you'd like about all the "hearsay" evidence that's not there.....

Huron_1969

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

Still Sold

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

srblogger

me too, but more intersested in the first one. was it the coach to the BOE member, or the BOE member to the coach. if the BOE went at the coach aggressively, then fire back is deserved. another thing if it is the FB coach. the BOE members will be gone before he ever would! guarentee that!

Still Sold

Great post, RUKidding !

Tmm

I've kept my comments about this fiasco to myself for quite some time...all the while waiting for this day to come. A big part of me feels that fox should be reinstated. There is also a part of me that says wait this is an opinion made by an individual that isn't from here and can't possibly know the dynamics of this entire situation...either way what's been done is done. I'm glad I don't have really any skin in this because regardless of what is decided...whether to reinstate fox or not...this fiasco is far from over.
All I can say is I would hate to be a teacher in the HCS system. I'll be eating crow tonight.

Tsu Dho Nimh

My first thought when I read the headline was those poor teachers who spoke against him. Also feel for the bus garage employees. I think the "era of kindness" will go back to the way it was.

Still Sold

You haven't been shy about sharing your opinion, Tmmm. Glad you're allowed to have one in this country where you are innocent until proven guilty.

I beg to differ, though. The 'referee' now knows a lot more about the dynamics than most of us will ever. 2700 pages ! Sheesh !

Have enjoyed sparring with you.

UgtaBkdnMe

“The evidence in this cases overwhelmingly established that this district is in very good shape in all areas that permit measurement of a successful school district,” Taich wrote. “The superintendent’s leadership abilities must be given serious credit for this success. The district has prospered in many areas under his control over the last several years. The evidence failed to establish that the board considered Mr. Fox’s prior evalutions, achievements and the abilities he utilized in working with staff and community business partners, prior to making its decision.”

So basically, if your school district is doing well you can steal money, steal vacation days, and have an affair while the taxpayers time. NICE !

Huron_1969

Just like politics

Still Sold

Exonerated. Say it slowly so it sinks in.

Darwin's choice

....it said so on the internet.....you can't post anything that's not true..... "Bonjour" huron school board !

Still Sold

hahaha.. and TDN's a French model.

Perkahontas

Does he even want the job back? Couldn't he become superintendent in another district with a Kahlahari owned resort in it?

Tsu Dho Nimh

I am disappointed that ODE would rule this way, but they did and I guess I will have to accept that. I have viewed so many disciplinary actions taken against educators on the Ohio.gov site that are minor compared to the things that Fred Fox did. I still contend that investigating the allegations against him was the right thing to do and believe that because two members refused to do anything, the other three were forced to take more drastic action. I am sure from ODE's perspective, they over-reacted. But as Tmm.. shared, ODE does not know the dynamics or the history of this town. The ugly mess would have been avoided if the two good 'ole boys would have been willing to address Mr. Fox and willing to give him a 3-4 week suspension, similiar to what happened to the treasurer in Sandusky. I have zero respect for Mr. Asher or Mr. Caporini.

If I were the other three board members, I would resign immediately and not be part of the vote. If they vote to terminate, it will just cost the district money that it just doesn't have and the community has suffered enough. I think that they are good people who just expected that the top leader of school district be a modal to our children. I would not in good conscience be able to agree to keep Mr. Fox as the superintendent. Looks like the good 'ole boys won this one and when it comes to moral responsibility, anything goes.

Darwin's choice

Have you really looked at the "top leader of our school district" that the board hired in his place? Who's moral compass is off-kilter?

Huron_1969

Atta-boy, defend yourself by pointing in a different direction

Tsu Dho Nimh

He is just a temporary employee. His actions have not caused any harm or brought embarassment to this community.

nobodyfromnowhere

Nor did Fox's. It was the majority on the board who allowed "personal feelings" to "replace sound judgement" and caused thus far approx $600,000 in financial harm to the schools brought embarrassment to the community.

Still Sold

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

sash

Apparently I am too old and/or too old fashioned. The extramarital affair would have been enough for me. The affair didn't hamper his effectiveness? Maybe not in dollars and cents, but being a leader in a school district means setting an example. Maybe the next employment contract should spell out in big letters that the superintendent needs to be an example to employees and students alkie in their behavior. Moral turpitude really isn't a dirty word.

good old boy

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Off-topic comments.

There you go again

His employment contact DOES spell out that educators are held to a higher standard than other contracts. Enough!

Tsu Dho Nimh

I agree with you. There is something to be said about setting guidelines from this point forward.

Wald

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

Still Sold

You are correct Mr/Ms Wald !

Perkins2060

We'll trade you Gunner for Fox. Please?

Huron_1969

Gunner vs Fox in the Thunderdome.... Gotta keep some sense of humor

Tsu Dho Nimh

Good one!

Still Sold

hahaha..

Lil DAB

lol

good old boy

Didnt I just say that ?

Dudley Do-Right

So the moral of the story ... since Fred Fox led the district to an excellent rating on the report card and had outstanding past performance reviews he can do whatever he wants without a consequence.

I hope the Huron teachers' union remembers all of this ... if you don't file grievances and if you don't speak up you make him look good. By the way, use your email inappropriately, engage in an affair during working hours, forget to submit sick or personal days, and request for reimbursements you are not entitled to, after all your Board of Education and ODE just set precedence. This is acceptable behavior and you can't be reprimanded for it .... as long as your test scores are up.

good old boy

yep, kind of like win a lot of football games and your King ...... Only in Huron ....keep trying to have it both ways

Dudley Do-Right

I am not familiar with the story behind the football coach but have read many references to the coach and an affair. If a football coach had an affair during working hours and used school resources to conduct this affair, then there should have been some type of disciplinary action. No one should be above the rules, and just because one person got away with it doesn't mean others should be given carte blanche to do the same.

Perkins2060

Is she hot?

good old boy

not sure where your from Dudley, but you obviously dont know the inner relations between certain board member and coach. Kind of funny to see the double standard you talk about play out and act like they know nothing.

Still Sold

Apparently, Dud.. That has been the rules all along. Better take a history lesson in Huronomics before posting like you have no clue.

TaxRaider

The Board must accept the recommendation to reinstate Mr. Fox, otherwise, turmoil and law suits will continue. Someone said in an earlier post, if I were the three board members I would resign. They have good intentions and high standards and evidently they must compromise their ethics to be a "good" board member. The stress and hassles of doing the right thing simply isn't worth it in Huron, Ohio.

Tsu Dho Nimh

I was disturbed by the section of the report that discussed the AZ trip. I do not believe for a moment that the board discussed the rental car or extra days before the trip in a public forum. If it was, why were the costs not part of the purchase requistion? Weis should not have reimbursed anything that was not included in the request. I also do not believe that Mrs. Green or Mr. Slocum even knew what Weis reimbursed. This was nothing more that three members discussing amongst themselves what they would pay for off the record. How convenient that Fox, Weis, Asher, Bulea and Caporini remember it the same way.

Retiree

People keep saying that the three board should resign. If it wasn't for them, the corruption would still be going on within the system. If you Huronites only knew what went on the last ten years at your expense, you would be singing a different song. The State Auditor needs to examine the books for the last ten years. I would hope the three board members would make that request. I would not put much faith in the decision made by the neutral party, he is not an arbitrator. He is just an attorney. I believe that in this day,if you want to progress in your profession, you listen closely to people that have friends in high places. That is why our judicial system is so corrupt.

good old boy

just like you listened when you were on !

nobodyfromnowhere

The state auditor routinely reviews the books and had reviewed the accounts for the time of the Arizona trip and had found nothing amiss. Most arbitrators are attorneys. At least you admit he is neutral.

good old boy

whats a matter ? Everybody go to bed early tonight ? Or did you all lose your appitite ?

Tsu Dho Nimh

There sure seems to be a lot of corruption at the board office. Who is giving out the information at the board office? Someone is and Fred Fox supporters sure knew was going on the whole time, and I'm not talking about information that his attorney would have. Someone inquires about a bus, then the person gets a nasty phone call regarding his records request. The phone call was from a family member of the person who is said to have taken the bus. Someone asks about about the deputy superintendent's pay, then Sold is on the blogs letting the requestor know that there isn't anything he can't find out. But is was FREE, MAN! The treasurer in an email (posted on another blog) threatens to call the police because he questioned his professionalism. What's up with that? And did you guys see in the paper today (page 8 I think) where the treasurer reported a file as stolen to the police only to find it later in his office after misplacing it? He has it together, doesn't he? Then we have either Asher or Caporini releasing the Markling bill even though, according to the treasurer, is not a public document. And don't dare question the board publicly or Nancy Bulea will have her husband check you out and attempt to cause problems with your employer (didn't work, did it?).

Wald

What's hilarious to me is that all the whiners saying not to listen to the Ethics Committee's ruling would be singing a different tune if they had ruled the other way. At least have the courage to admit you were WRONG, as pointed out by a NEUTRAL investigative committee!

Still Sold

Right on, Wald.
I really thought, for some reason, that the whiners would have more class. A neutral party found FOR Fred Fox. Over.

Now.. Let's get back to who caused this mess.

underthebridge

I wonder if Fred Fox is trying to preserve his license and his ability to work until he is able to collect full pension. An exoneration from the ODE may provide that for him. They aren't ruling to see if his conduct was unethical. They are ruling on the termination.

I wonder if the Ohio Ethics Commission will rule differently? If they exonerate Fred Fox, then the school district has a boatload of problems. If OEC rules that his conduct was not ethical, does that overturn the decision of the ODE?

Tsu Dho Nimh

You are absolutely right...the report did not say he was innocent of wrong doing. As far as this report is concerned, it is just a recommendation. Before going into the hearing, all parties understood it would not be binding. The board can accept or reject its recommendation. It will be interesting what the board will propose and how each member will vote.

nobodyfromnowhere

I believe that the Board will vote to reinstate him. There is just WAY to much to lose if the don't follow the recommendation. My understanding is that the District's insurance company has already told the board that if they vote against the recommendation they will immediately drop the District's insurance policy. This would leave the District responsible for all costs incurred, including but not limited to: lawyers fee, court fees, judgement costs, settlement fees, opposing counsel's fees and of course any fees and/or judgements resulting from a possible suit related to the release of the Markling Report. These cost could easily run into the seven figures and would come from the general fund. Also getting insurance again would be extremely expensive for the District creating additional costs there. Voting against the recommendation would be suicidal. A smart board would get together on Saturday and come to the decision to unanimously vote to reinstate him, though I doubt that will happen. My guess is that it will be a 3-2 vote to reinstate with Caporini and Asher obviously voting for it and 1 of the others (Green or Slocum) sucking it up and voting in favor to keep the district from financially imploding. I would also expect the the District's insurance company will seriously pursue some sort of negotiated settlement with Fox. This will cost them a pretty penny but if it drags out and the Ethics Committee comes back and rules in favor of Fox (which given the lack of evidence presented in this hearing is a distinct possibility) then the District's boat load of problems quickly becomes an Ore Boat load that will take a couple of Hulletts to clean out. I seriously doubt that Fox will ever actually work another day as Huron City School Superintendent, and given the publicity swirling around this fiasco finds a good replacement will be difficult especially if the current board makeup remains in place.

Still Sold

Exonerated. Say it slowly so it sinks in.

nobodyfromnowhere

I doubt the Ethics Commission will rule differently. The board simply did not come close to presenting a preponderance of the evidence on the alleged ethics violation. It's simply not there. The board would be best to quickly come to a settlement with Mr. Fox before it gets any worse for them, and yes it can get much worse.

Still Sold

Where have you been, Nobody ?
Needed you here about a year ago !
Great posts filled with facts !

nobodyfromnowhere

I was nowhere. :)

UgtaBkdnMe

In your head, he's one of your multiple personalities !

Truth or Fiction

So let me get this straight. Three board members out of five formed a voting block to hire an attorney who said he would give them some free time if they hired him to investigate the superintendent. WHY?

The attorney conducts his investigation, provides information that the three board members use to suspend the Superintendent. The minority board members vote NO and all but call it a witch hunt. I think they might have even called it a witch hunt! The attorney then submits a bill for $90,000 and again the voting block wins out and the gets his pay. WHY? It might have made sense to tie his pay to the findings of the State.

In addition, the BOE has to hire an interim superintendent at $100k(+), while the suspended superintendent continues to receive his pay. Didn't someone look at the cost to the district?

Now a neutral State agency does an investigation and says that the BOE was wrong in its actions against the superintendent and that he should be reinstated.

I'm sorry, it sounds like a bad soap opera.

whopper2011

Sounds like the State Referee is as crooked and immoral as Fox, if he thinks that Fox should get his job reinstated.

OccamsShavingCream

I would just like the city of Huron to know that I am available for shoddy legal work and I don't charge anywhere near $90,000.

HHGUY

How can 2719 pages of testimony be wrong? The cool thing here is that all this testimony cannot be changed. So if there are further legal proceedings, it is what it is. Why can’t you all see that Fox was railroaded? The decision 100% vindicated Fox. Read the decision again, and again if need be. SOWecke said in the Board meeting on May 22 that “he was proud of the actions that the 3 stooges have taken”. This decision and all the sworn testimony does not bode well for the $2.8 mil lawsuit against him. I think that Hastings-Green and Slocum will be added to that suit. I also think that based on the 100% vindication that the Insurance carrier will pull out. So that means – SOWecke, Hastings-Green and Slocum will be stuck to defend themselves on their own. Big money. Now we are getting into the “Murray Playground”. Ace Hardware is gone. And yes – if affairs are the criteria for employment at Huron Schools, as suggested, many others should be gone, including the Coach mentioned above.

UgtaBkdnMe

The coach in question had his supposed affair around ten years ago, yes? It is too late to go back and address that. When I read the report I don't see where Fox is exonerated. The problem is that the board didn't have policies to state the obvious - thou shalt not approve unauthorized expenses, thou shalt not use school equipment to conduct personal business, thou shalt not diddle during school time. Most school districts have policies in place but the good old boys (and girls) of the past didn't take the time. Pretty sure that if Fred behaved this way in any other district in the area, there would be board policies and he'd be toast !

nobodyfromnowhere

HHGuy is right. The referee stated that the Board failed to prove a single charge, let alone that it would have risen to just and good cause. This was a complete victory for Fox.

HHGUY

Ugta - obviously you have not read the Huron Policy Manual. Suggest before you speak off the top of your head - you do that. Clearly the manual was a piece of the evidence the referee used. You clearly need to go back and read the decision. Obviously you did not or your head is too thick.

Still Sold

HHGUY-
You hit the nail on UGTA's thick head.

No matter what.. Just because someone walks with the coach's wife it makes Fred Fox a bad guy even though he has been found completely innocent. People who think SOWecke did such a bang up job should start taking up a collection for his defense fund.

UgtaBkdnMe

Duh, Sold - there is no policy about using computers for personal use. That's why the referee thinks we can't hold him accountable. Maybe the board should add that to the district policy along with keep your privates in your own pants and out of others during school hours. There's a thought !

Truth and Justice

TDN You sure have a funny sense of right and wrong. Did you read the report? It sure doesn't seem you did. I hope you aren't an educator, for I pity the education our children are receiving. The "ugly mess" you talk about is all related to your 3 Stooges. If an outside person can see this, you better take off the blinders. To try to blame Asher and Caporini shows your ignorance. I lost count how many times they said let the Board get together with their school attorneys and let Brickler and Eckler decide which way the investigation should go. They never said to use Brickler and Eckler, but do the "right" thing to allow Mr. Fox his due process. I have followed this entire scenario in a more objective manner and you conveniently forget and distort the truth You twist their words to provide a diversion for your favored three. I have followed all your posts and you were so far off on everything you said especially the Arizona trip that I don't know how anyone can respect what you say.

Get off the "good 'ole boys" cliche. It shows that you are not from this community, as you once stated since you don't know the inner workings of this community. The Huron community is made up of many fine people who know how to explain the truth. Get off your high horse and read the report. You may have to tell the 3 stooges that you are running out of script. If you don't know what to say, see if you can ask for the many pages of testimony that this arbitrator went through to arrive at the truth.

Your last paragraph is the only portion of your "razzle-dazzle" that makes any sense. Let the 3 stooges who created this mess go their merry way and let the deputy superintendent move on. With all due respect to the deputy superintendent he doesn't need to be dragged through this.

whazup

Do you believe that Fred did nothing wrong? There are a lot of people out their who are pretty upset about his affair during school and sending emails on his school account to arrange them. You come across as angry. How can anyones comments on these blogs be a diversion. Do you really think that the comments impacted Fred's due process?

Still Sold

Truth and Justice-
Do not baffle these people with facts.

Tsu Dho Nimh

Truth...Quite a few people have shared the same opinions as mine but for some reason I am the one that bothers you. Interesting. I do not believe I have ever suggested that I am not from the community. I have been paying income taxes and property taxes most of my adult life so apparently the city thinks I am part of the community...lol. Don't worry about your childrens' safety and well being, but being a teacher does sound like more fun than what I do. I'm not allowed to use the computer at work for personal business and certainly not allowed to carry on a love life on the clock. Thank you for the compliment. I had no idea the my posts were providing a diversrion. Awesome!

UgtaBkdnMe

Sounds like someone finds you intimidating !

Julie R.

Sounds like the referee for the Ohio Board of Education reinstates just about everybody.

http://www.thecourier.com/Issues...

OccamsShavingCream

Does Kalahari retain some kind of naming rights for the football field? I Hate You and You Smell Field at Huron Memorial Stadium is a mouthful.

Still Sold

How about:
YouHadAnAffair First Field ?

Gardenman

What about attorney Markley in all this? It appears they per their own admission an incomplete investigation. For that incomplete work HCS paid over $90,000? Seems as the smoke begins to clear in all this that a complaint against Markley should be brought before the State Bar of Ohio.

It appears everyone else is in the pool sueing this one and that one so why let the attorney Markley miss all the fun.....he can be the next one investgated.

Imataloss

All it takes is a Huron Taxpayer to filed with the State Supreme Court - it doesn't have to be the school district.

Still Sold

As I've said about 300 times in the past year: Markling did a totally lopsided report and included nothing anyone ever said positive about Fred Fox. Three Huron Board members wanted the report and wanted it as presented. I would like to cast a vote that the 3 Stooges pay the district back for the report since it was totally erroneous.

Hoss McGee

I thought when all this was going down. Wasn't the bus garage guy's name being brought up?

Justme...

"Further, the additional alleged threat of disclosing Board member Slocum's prior work record, which work record totally supported Mr, Slocum, was made by some other individual and not by the Superintendent." How is it an "alleged" threat if Slocum had to produce his work record to prove it wrong? Wow, looks like Fred's the victim here. He has a lot of people willing to do his dirty work. Well, the guy apparantly did nothing wrong. As long as you have a couple board members in your pocket, you can do what you want. Just produce one person willing to corroborate what you say and you will be believed. Oh and kids, go ahead and use school email to send sexually explicit messages. Apparantly there is nothing wrong with that either. I don't think these three have much of a choice without vocal support from the public. They cannot continue to stick their necks out without it. And to those who think they fought the good fight but should step down...if they step down, the two remaining get to appoint replacements and I think there are only about 5 people out there who think that's a good idea. Better for them to run and either win or lose.

Tsu Dho Nimh

How did the referee come to this conclusion? I went back and looked at Fox's suit against Sowecke and he most definitely brings up Mr. Slocum's work record. Even says that "When the circumstances become known, all will agree that Slocum is unfit to serve in any public office or in any trust capacity." Sounds like he intended to disclose something.

Informed

Gee, the school district is thriving under the current temporary superintendent as well. Maybe it has very little to do with who is superintendent and more to do with the actual classrooms.
The emails alone are enough for me as a taxpayer to not want him there. It is unprofessional, unethical, and disrespectful to the community and all the employees of the district. Not to mention it is tantamount to stealing to be off having an affair or emailing about it when one should be working.
This whole thing makes me sick. I only pray that the Ohio Ethics Commission reprimands him in some way to restore my faith in not only the system, but the moral compass of the education profession.

Informed

Gee, ask Tanny Vonthron if his actions weren't detrimental to the school district. That poor woman had to deal with everyone thinking she was his mistress because of his lies and actions. I think she should sue him for that alone.

Retiree

As I stated before "an arbitrator's ruling is binding". The state referee's decision means nothing. It is his personal opinion. He knows nothing about all the corruption that has taken place within Huron's Schools over the years.(the affair,toolgate,busgate,ticketgate,etc) He was intimidated by the defence attorney's name and relatives in high places. You do me a favor and I will not forget. That is what attorneys and judges live by,if it's right or wrong

Ms. Vonthron and Mr. Rup are credible people and by the referee's statements,I challenge his credibility. The person that makes the
statements that "Ace Hardware will not be there" shows the type of individuals that support Fox. Why are you throwing out threats and intimadations? Do you think you are a tough guy. Who you call the "three stooges" let the taxpayer's of Huron know exactly what was going on within a corrupt system. If only the pass board members would have been upfront with the Huron taxpayer and let them know everything that was "swept under the rug", in years pass, it would never have gotten to this point. I know the people of Huron will unite and the board's decision will be justified. I know a lot of people in Huron and the three board member's have many taxpayers supporting them.(teachers, bus drivers,etc.) Whatever does happen in the future just remember,"white collar crime has reared its ugly head and come out smelling like a rose".

Still Sold

Retiree-
Actually it is you who know nothing except 'snippets'.

I have spent too much time attempting to 'school' you to the facts. You're not even from Huron, yet you keep fanning the fire ?

Exonerated. Say it slowly so it sinks in.

Huron_1969

How many alias's do you have?

Tsu Dho Nimh

Good question...Sold, HHGuy, Truth and Justice just to name a few.

Huron_1969

If it walks like a Fox, talks like Fox, it's a Cheetah

nobodyfromnowhere

While the referee's decision is not binding it certainly does not mean nothing. Nor is it his personal opinion, it is his PROFESSIONAL opinion which he has done a very good and through job of supporting in his report. You should also remember that the referee was agreed to by both Mr. Fox and the District. You speak of all this corruption yet when given the chance to charge Fox they can only come up with 4 charges? Then when required to prove those charges by a "Preponderance of the Evidence", not even beyond a reasonable doubt, they cannot prove a single one? They waste $90,000 on a substandard report that failed to even attempt to confirm basic information to the charges or interview many of the major subjects involved? The law firm is either blitheringly incompetent or unfortunately the report had a predetermined outcome whose price was $90,000. You speak of the kind of individuals who support Fox and the statement that ACE Hardware will not be there as intimidating. So what would you call it when after not evaluating the Treasurer for 2 years Board President Slocum tells him 3-4 days before he is to testify that the board will now all of the sudden be evaluating him again? That sounds like a threat! But hey that's ok with you, right? If the three members of this board, and their hired gun law firm, had done their jobs in a professional manner instead of turning this into a vendetta/circus it would have never gotten to this point. You may think you know Huron but I was born and raised there. My picture hangs on the wall of the High School Cafeteria like all of those who came through the District and while Huron is far from perfect in many ways it by and large is populated by pretty smart people. This incident has caused a substantial fissure in the city but I believe the silent majority was taking a wait and see attitude and most of them are not going to support this Boards (3 member in particular) continued squandering of AT LEAST 200,000 of their hard earned tax dollars, that they thought was going to educate their kids in an outstanding school system with excellent teachers and very good facilities, on a substandard lawyers hack job report and someone's personal vendetta. There will always be people on both sides of this issue but the majority is going to want this over with quickly and at as little further cost as possible so the District can move on from this embarrassment. Unfortunately that further cost will not be little.

Huron_1969

I have read all the documents from day 1 and came to my own conclusions. You can make a stand on the technicalities all you want.... and your extreme defensiveness makes you sound like someone trying to hide the truth. Fox won a battle, not the war. Just as bill Clinton got off the hook, he will always be a punch line for jokes. Fox now shares the same legacy.

Ps, most of my life has been in Huron and my pic is in the cafeteria too, so I have skin in the game as well

nobodyfromnowhere

I would hardly call the Boards TOTAL failure to provide proof or their accusations, by the relatively non-stringent preponderance of the evidence standard, a technicality. Being required to prove your accusations is not a technicality it is a mandatory REQUIREMENT. That is the foundation requirement on which all their other actions will be judged and they could not do it on a single one of the 4 charges. Mr. Fox did win this battle and he won it overwhelmingly leaving the District at a massive disadvantage. This decision was Hiroshima. It remains to be seen but I would say that there is a greater than 50/50 chance that after the smoke clears this will be the final battle. The District's insurance company cannot be happy with this situation as they are not in the business of financing the vendetta's of school board members. More so now that Sowecke's attorney filed an affidavit blaming the release of the confidential Markling report squarely on the School District. They recognize that the longer this drags out the greater the cost to their bottom line. Especially if the Ethic Commission finds that the board's complaint is unsubstantiated or even worse unfounded. Given the evidence presented so far that is an extremely strong possibility. And that will finish the war much like Nagasaki. Then all that will be left to do will be to meet on the deck of the Missouri and figure out how much the District is going to pay Mr. Fox. Much like the former President I predict Mr. Fox will also retire with quite a bit of the Districts money in his account and into an extremely comfortable retirement.

Given Retiree's silence I'm guessing his picture isn't up there with ours.

Huron_1969

Keep the extreme defensiveness coming, you're proving my point
Winning the war means being accepted by the community.... that won't happen

Tsu Dho Nimh

Sold from nowhere is good at that, proving your point that is.

nobodyfromnowhere

And you think the three on the board that let their personal feelings replace good judgement and have already wasted over $200,000 in tax payers money are winning over the community?

UgtaBkdnMe

You're not Sold, you're A NOBODY FROM THE EAST SIDE.

Julie R.

"The district failed to establish by credible evidence that Mr. Fox's inappropriate relationship with the other school district principal hampered his effectiveness as a superintendent ........"

Somebody somewhere is going to write another one of those books someday ..... one of those books like Disorder in the Court .... or The Most Outlandish Things Ever Said .... and that statement will be in it.

nobodyfromnowhere

Ok Julie please show by objective measurements how they did prove it?

Julie R.

I think you misunderstood. I didn't disagree that they proved his inappropriate relationship did not hamper his effectiveness as a superintendent. What I meant was - the way the referee has it worded sounds ridiculous.

nobodyfromnowhere

Actually that is relatively standard legal phraseology. Had the district proved their case the only difference in that sentence would have been to delete "failed" and insert "succeeded".

Silvia

Ok for whoever wants to answer this ..... Is the ODE not the same as the OEC ?? Because I am alittle confused on all of this if the Ohio Ethics Commitee hasnt come back with anything and the ODE did then how can anything be resolved isnt everyone jumping the gun ??? How can any decision be made until the final report comes back from the OEC ?? Can someone explain please ?????

Julie R.

The ODE is the Ohio Department of Education. Their purpose is to make sure the schools follow the law. The OEC is the Ohio Ethics Commission. Their purpose is to promote ethics in public service to strengthen the public's confidence that government business is being conducted with impartiality and integrity.

Both the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Ethics Commission are made up of attorneys. In fact, the referee in this decision to reinstate Mr. Fox is a Cleveland attorney.

Silvia

Ok so what happens if the OEC says he is guilty of all charges then what ??? Why is everyone making a big deal about the ODE if the OEC hasnt made a ruling ??

Still Sold

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

srblogger

will you vote yes on the next levy?

Still Sold

As long as Fred Fox is in place as the superintendent and the Board of Education is repaired I will always vote yes. Children deserve a great education and school employees deserve a great, properly funded, place to work.

When the rubble is cleared I can't wait to see what the 'real' financial condition of the school district is. When Fred Fox was 'ousted' I believe he had built a surplus of over $7,000,000. (When I say he, I am including the entire team which would be he, Fred Fox, the other school employees and the parents and other supporters).

If Fred Fox says we need a levy I am going to believe him.

srblogger

i still have some difficulty with the last levy passed, when our school teachers (at fox's request) took a pay freeze. for the teachers that have been in the system and earn a good wage, that is fine and they probably can manage, for the lower ones, thats tough! but then after the drive by locals to get the levy passed, what happens. Freddy gets a pay raise and like zoom quick. while the hard working teachers are stuck. we could see a strongsville situation with this next teacher union meeting/boe meeting. the school is broke. and the teachers deserve a better deal.

Silvia

To your question SanduskyRegister...... Way before this all happened, yrs ago there was a levy up and lots of huronites got together and formed a Huron WIns commitee and worked diligent to pass the levy for the kids, and the Levy passed without the help of the Superintendant Fred Fox. Soon after the Levy passed the administrators took a pretty Substanial a raise! Alot of people in the community especially the Commitee were upset. So the answer to your question is The next levy was never going to pass due to all the raises not this new episode.

Huron_1969

Absolutely true... Fox got credit where no credit was due
Dedicated citizens did the work and were then pushed to the back of the missing bus

Justme...

Correct Silvia. He bragged about taking a pay freeze while they were trying to get a levy passed, but he/they gave it all back to him (and then some) before the new board was in place. If that doesn't indicate what we're dealing with with these folks, I don't know what does. I don't mean to suggest this has cost a small amount of money, but with the size of HCS budget, when a levy is needed, this will hardly be the cause. The treasurer has been saying 2015 for several years now.

Still Sold

I really didn't know how many negative people there were in Huron until this whole situation reared it's ugly head.

Teacher's raises are tied in to their contract. They do get raises, but the newbies are on the bottom teir. Someone posted on here a bit ago that the average teacher salary in Huron was around $65,000. I do not know if this is accurate, but it was posted on the internet.. So it has to be true ?

As far as the administrators are concerned, their raises are more tied in to what administrators 'in the area' are paid.

I would love to see the last ten years history of all saleries in the district and how they have evolved. Last 'freeze' I remember was over ten years ago and was teachers/non-certs/ and administrators.

I'm sure someone here can come up with that data ?

(and as a suggestion: Maybe Slocum, Hastings/Greene and SOWecke should donate back to the school their per meeting pay ?)

srblogger

there was a pay freeze for the teachers with that levy issue a few years ago, it has since been lifted. i would think 65k is a little steep. if you include admins. to that then it probably is true. its not hard to find that information. Anyways maybe the average if it is 65k's still does not do justice when the starting teacher receives low 30's and is trying to pay off college, rent, maybe has children. and to top it off takes a freeze they cant afford. Fox planned this all out and knew exactly what he wanted to do. knife in the backs of the taxpayers and teachers! if you cant read between the lines, then take off the blinders.

Still Sold

That damn Fred Fox..
He's..
He's..

Exonerated.

Still Sold

JustYOU-
Thought you'd disappear with the rest of the riff raff ?
Just kidding. Hope you enjoyed the current press.

Of course I know none of the testimony under oath could be right ? And of course no matter what you will still find something negative to bring up.

My suggestion is to help solve problems.. Not just talk about them.

Thanks for your input !

Justme...

Did I say something that was not true? I vent here. Its difficult not to when you read all the spin.

Still Sold

No Justme.. I am just always amazed at certain people here who can find nothing positive about Huron, or the Huron City Schools. Is it really that bad ? You sound like someone who has helped out in the past and is now disgruntled. I really don't think Fred Fox got up one day and said: Wow.. What can I do today to p*** off JustMe ?

If I'm complaining it's going to be about a 3-2 school board who will eventually cost the school system millions.

Pages