Referee rejected board's argument

Fox hearing documents posted at sanduskuskyregister.com; more to follow.
Jessica Cuffman
Mar 18, 2013

 

School board attorneys released hundreds of pages of documents from hearings related to the termination of Fred Fox on Monday — one day before the board is expected vote whether to reinstate the embattled superintendent.

Among the dozens of files provided to the Register as of late Monday were:

• Five of eight volumes of the 2,700 pages of transcripts from testimony during the 10 days of hearings.

• Dozens of exhibits both Fox's attorneys and the school board's attorneys submitted to support their arguments.

The following documents are available for review. Other documents released by the school district will be posted Tuesday morning.

• A 52-page brief from the district's attorneys submitted to the hearing officer at the end of the 10 days of testimony, stating their case and reasons for firing Fox.

• The referee's report recommending Fox be reinstated and rejecting the district's arguments. 

Get live coverage as it happens here at sanduskyregister.com Tuesday evening from McCormick Middle School when the school board votes. 

Comments

Tsu Dho Nimh

Look at the referee’s report on page 13. Fox testifies that Kalahari did not do business with the district until November 2010. Now look at the Board’s post-hearing summary. The district used Kalahari just a few months prior to the trip. Fox lied and Taiche seems to not take that into account. Just one of many lies that can be proven as such. Sounds like maybe Taiche was smittened by Mr. Murray.

nobodyfromnowhere

Funny how the board doesn't say what the checks were for. Still the board failed to show how the alleged trip influenced district decisions regarding Kalihari. Lots of bun, no beef.

Tsu Dho Nimh

The December 2010 payment was for 58 rooms for Teacher Appreciation night, the May 2010 payment was rental for prom, and the November 2009 payment was for 63 rooms as a reward for earning Excellent with Distinction. Now you know. On a side note, under the last couple of years of his reign, the district fell to the Excellent category. You would think all of the knowledge he gained and shared from the March 2011 conference would have prevented that slip. Hmmmm….

nobodyfromnowhere

The prom payment wouldn't be district money, the location is chosen and paid for by the students. And the others? I find it interesting that the District doesn't say what the payments are for. Nor in any way mention the much larger payment from Kalihari to the District. How did the trip manifest undue influence?

Justme...

nobody, it doesn't matter if there was influence in terms of the ethics violation. You've made some intelligent arguements but that's not one of them.

nobodyfromnowhere

Yes it does. ORC 102.03 D&E both require that the thing of value be "of such a character as to manifest a substantial and improper influence". If there was no improper influence there is no ethics violation. The District failed to prove improper influence.

Justme...

Read the Licensure Code of Professional Conduct for Ohio Teachers.
http://www.ode.state.oh.us/GD/Te...

Conduct unbecoming includes, but is not limited to, the following actions:
a) Soliciting students or parents of students to purchase equipment, supplies, or services or to participate in activities that financially benefit the educator without notifying the superintendent or designee and/or not in accordance with local board policy.
b) Accepting gifts from vendors or potential vendors for personal use or gain exceeding $25.00 in value.
I don't doubt what you are reading, but its not the only code of conduct educators are required to follow.

Julie R.

If attorneys and judges don't have to follow the Rules of Professional Conduct, why do teachers have to? Sounds like a double-standard to me.

nobodyfromnowhere

Except the referee ruled that Kalahari was not a vendor. In fact they have given over $100,000 to the district. In addition the District never established that a discount was given for the golf trip, because Markling never bothered to even attempt to determine the rack or flex rate for their stay. Again failure on the District's part to produce the required evidence. More importantly is that the OEC is concerned only with the Ohio Revised Code particularly Chapter 102.

TaxRaider

The district paid Kalahari for goods and services so that makes Kalahari a vendor. I don't have a problem with the district using Kalahari but there are two other waterparks in the area that offer similar discounts to schools.

nobodyfromnowhere

So then the District is an even bigger vendor to Kalihari! How much did they pay for the naming rights to the football field? Also how many of those other water parks are located within the Huron School District?

Tsu Dho Nimh

"Fox also discussed with Lally a plan to assure that Slocum participated in the "burying" of the Markling report. Fox told Lally that Fox's lifelong friend, Asher, was attempting to obtain information from Slocum's prior employer, showing that Slocum was fired for wrongdoing and, by holding this information over Slocum, attempting to assure the "burying" of the Markling report. (T. 1676-1677)."

Kevin Asher made some ugly allegations in his conspiracy suit filed in the Erie County Courts that are consistent with the statement above. Let it be known, Mr. Slocum has a letter from his previous employer that supports that Mr. Slocum left on good terms and they would hire him back. Can we say bully?

nobodyfromnowhere

Bully? You mean like a board member telling the treasurer 3 days before he is to testify that they are now going to evaluate him?

Justme...

Sooner would have been better, but I don't think there was a good time to do that review to avoid him claiming that. Anytime after this mess started and the same claim would be made. If they did it after he testisfied the same claim would have been made - actually it would have looked worse. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. I guess the solution would be to stop reviewing the guy...On the other hand, their false claim against Slocum was totally irrelevent and smacks of intimidation.

nobodyfromnowhere

The board should have been evaluating their treasurer all along, but had not been doing so. Then right before he is to testify you tell him you are going to start again is just stupid. Even if it was just bad judgement as to timing one could easily see how it could be perceived as a veiled threat. They should have waited till this had all blown over.

Justme...

It is possible that this will not "blow over" for a year or more. I get what you are saying, it could be perceived that way. But that doesn't mean it was intended that way. On the other hand, the false, irrelevent, public allegations against Slocum...

TaxRaider

It is in his contract to be evaluated once a year. The teachers are being evaluated so why not the treasurer? Don't you think he should be notified?

whazup

The Board certainly has a strong argument. How the referee can read that and then slam the board in his recommendation is unbelievable. I agree with TDN, it sure seems like he was getting some kind of favor from Murray.

nobodyfromnowhere

Remember there are 3 sides to every story. The brief is only the Districts (naturally) biased written argument in support of their position. Where is the Fox brief? It was part of the package why wasn't it posted by the public records loving Register?

Truth or Fiction

Interpretation of testimony is a difficult if not dangerous position to take in public media. I would caution that while using tag names provides some degree of identity protection it is not protected in a legal proceeding. It is quite clear that you don't agree with the ODE's findings and have argued vigorously not to allow reinstatement. Those who read this understand your position.

UgtaBkdnMe

Why would you think that a legal proceeding would care what was said on this blog so far ? I don't understand your point.

Tsu Dho Nimh

I am assuming that you are referring to my posts. I understand that you are giving helpful advice but why would I need to worry about a legal proceeding? There is nothing wrong with me expressing my opinion. If you are trying to suggest that I am a party to this mess, I assure you that I am not.

Huron_1969

A simple but flawed attempt to intimidate ... stay the course

Truth or Fiction

One other point. Mr. Murray was retained by Mr. Fox to provide a legal defense. As the Board's attorney presented his evidence, Mr. Murray had every right to refute said evidence before the ODE. It is important to keep the issue in perspective, that being that the ODE is not swayed by either Markling or Murray but reviewed the facts presented and thus rendered a decision of those facts. Agree or disagree with the ODE's findings, it is a difficult pickel for the School Board.

whazup

For the record, this isn't ODE's finding. This is the finding of just ONE attorney. ODE gave them the option to use a referee (non-binding) instead of an arbitrator. He doesn't work for ODE, he's just a name on a list. ODE hasn't cleared Fox.

nobodyfromnowhere

It is the ODE's finding. The referee (an independent attorney chosen by both parties) represents the ODE. His decision is the ODE's decision.

srblogger

how much is admission charge for tomorrows Play at mccormick middle school? wonder if the band will perform send in the clowns in the orchastra pit?

OccamsShavingCream

Whatever the cost, it will be worth every penny. These things are great theater. People are going to come unglued at this one. I'm sure there will be much yelling and an appearance from that one crazy lady. I think someone might even burst into tears.

Does anyone know if concessions will be sold? Nachos would really set the whole thing off for me.

Sit n Spin

It's FREE MAN !!!! There will be at least 7 clowns in attendance, maybe more...5 board members, a disgruntled superintendent and SoldonfoxHHGuyBooBeeDooTruthandJustice etc....

Huron_1969

The band should play "Stuck in the middle with you"
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right.....

nobodyfromnowhere

OK that's funny!!

google me

....maybe "don't go away mad (just go away)"

Darkhorse

Evidence looks bad but what I don't understand is how the refree refected all the evidence? Looking at the testimony, Fox should not get his job back. We hope that Huron board members put this to bed once and for all.

nobodyfromnowhere

You read all 2700+ pages of testimony and reviewed all of the documentary and physical evidence? If you are basing your opinion of the District's brief remember it is their (naturally) biased argument in favor of their opinion. There is also a brief by Fox's attorneys that hasn't been posted. Why I don't know. But I'm sure it is just as (naturally) biased in favor of his arguments.

SilentMajority

WOW. The Huron tax payers need to read this. Anyone seen Sold since this has been released?

Darkhorse

Maybe Huron has to follow the connecting dots some more in this case. How do you get a ruling rejecting all the evidence which looks really bad. Something is very wrong in someone's way of thinking. Doesn't ethics exist anymore? Has the Ethics Committee weighed in yet? I don't care how great a background he has. It only takes one time to screw up.

Retiree

I read the fifty two pages from the district attorney's briefs. That must have been a terrible place to work since Fox became superintendent. Some people should not have a position with that much power. I hope he gets everything that he and his friends deserves for the way he treated the employees and board members.