Dropped and kept quiet

What happens next with lawsuits, lawyers and insurance coverage is anyone's guess. School board meets at 7:30 p.m. Go there, or stay here for updates.
Alissa Widman Neese
Jun 18, 2013

Administrators at Huron Schools refuse to release emails or documents they’ve exchanged with the district’s insurer, citing attorney-client privilege.

The insurer, Ohio School Plan, is set to drop Huron Schools within two weeks, citing “threats of continued litigation,” “lack of board focus and direction” and “inability to determine potential possible costs.” 

The developments come after the board’s 3-2 vote in April to fire superintendent Fred Fox for alleged misdeeds.

The related termination and court proceedings have already cost the district more than $140,000.

Ohio School Plan provides coverage to about 300 schools and has only dropped a school district once in its 11 years of operation, said Joe Seay, president of Hylant Administrative Services, which represents the group.

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Want to go?

What: Huron school board meeting (click here for the agenda).

When: 7:30 this evening

Where: Shawnee Elementary School conference room, 712 Cleveland Road E. 

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Huron Schools planned to receive a written notice with more details after the insurer reviewed the district’s pending lawsuits. The Register emailed a public records request to district treasurer Mike Weis on June 3, requesting all communications to and from Ohio School Plan since May 1, about a week before the group announced its plans to ditch the district.

Citing attorney-client privilege, however, Weis refused to release two letters that the public records request would have fleshed out, detailing Ohio School Plan’s findings. 

Weis then referred the Register to district attorney Dane Gaschen.

“I cannot provide you with any legal advice or provide an explanation of the court’s ruling to you,” Gaschen told the Register in an email. “I can only state that the district’s decision is based on the holding of the Ohio Supreme Court in State ex rel. Dawson v. Bloom-Carroll Local School District. For any further explanation you would need to seek the advice of your legal counsel.”

In the referenced lawsuit, a woman’s dispute with the school district involved a request for emails the district exchanged with an insurance company, which were also sent to attorneys in the case. The communications appear to have addressed district matters pertaining to the woman and her family, in a specific claim.   

In the case of Huron Schools, the documents would involve the district’s insurance policy as a whole, as school officials have already said.       

In Ohio, public records exemptions are typically discretionary. This means Huron school board members could simply choose to release the documents rather than citing an exemption as justification to withhold them.   

Throughout the Fred Fox ordeal, and with these latest developments on the district’s insurance policy, community interest has been readily apparent. 

Huron Schools has submitted applications to five alternative insurers, Weis said, and at least one company verbally confirmed it can provide insurance at an increased cost. A decision has yet to be made.

The school board is set to allow Weis to select a property and liability insurer by June 30, “using his own best judgment,” according to the agenda for tonight’s meeting. The district’s current insurance through Ohio School Plan costs about $38,000 a year.

Comments

NotYourAverageF...

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

Tsu Dho Nimh

A very colorful, yet spot on description of what is going on.

Darkhorse

Someone should look into the insurance dropping their client. The client is insured and the insurance company needs to pay up and that is why you pay a premium. When there is a big claim, the insurance agency threatens to drop them and not pay out on the claim. Let Fox sue, the school did the right thing in letting him go. It will be expensive, but worth the effort instead of handing over a settlement to make it all go away when you don't have to hand over any money.

Justme...

The insurance company IS paying the claims. They are dropping the distict from any future lawsuits...at least that's my understanding. Like if you get in an accident and it is covered, but then you are dropped. And I agree with the rest of your post.

lugnut2511

Cha Ching! Fred going to the bank with them yuppies money and giving the school board a very bad insurance rating,,To bad the citizens of Huron will now have to ay a higher insurance premium im sure, cause them yuppies took their grudge to a public forum..

Huron_1969

How much has he gotten? Fat lady isn't even backstage yet...

crazyaide

Who cares!!!!

J Cooper

Since she was just his girlfriend and being "mentored" my guess she can't claim loss of consortium, maybe it wasn't a big deal anyway?

Tsu Dho Nimh

Haha!

whazup

And this is newsworthy? Come on Alissa, there has to be better stories with this board than where they'll get their insurance.

Sandusksquach

Alissa's articles seem to increasingly focus on how she can't get some piece or information, or explanations about why she couldn't write a good article.

There are stories like this one about how she can't get emails or documents and ones about how a school official won't talk to her (e.g. Gunner).

The implication is that if she had the information then she'd have something newsworthy. Maybe there's news value in those two missing emails maybe not.

Tsu Dho Nimh

It is just another attempt by the Casherini Twins to get out the so called truth. It was clear that it was one of them (or both) who contacted Alissa about the emails and letters. She has no clue how they are using her. If she really wants a copy, just ask the Good Humor Man or stop by the Lighthouse. He was offering to pass the letter along to anyone who wants it in the parking lot after the meeting. Wonder who gave it to him considering all board members were advised by the board's attorney not to disclose it under attorney/client privilege? Why would a local businessman(and friend of Fred) have it? Things that make you go hmmmmmm.

Huron_1969

Even if the new coverage increase is 50% more, it is still cheaper than the incidental costs Fox was ringing up with his personal perks and allowing his maintenance buddy run amok on a ridiculous salary. Fox and Asher's lawsuits really tell what their true commitment is to Huron Schools. I don't blame the insurance company, this is Fox and Friends doing

Tsu Dho Nimh

I agree with you. Of course, Fox and Friends get the SR to write articles suggesting that it is the fault of the three who had the courage to put a stop to the years of corruption. Asher has already been told by Binette to stop whining when he doesn't get his way. Also, what type of person files a "conspiracy theory" with the court? Asher made unfounded, false statements against the board president but will the Register address that? That has to be the most childish piece of work that I have ever read from a so called educated individual. No wonder the insurance carrier is non-renewing the district.

Julie R.

One thing for certain --- attorneys sure are milking the cow for all it's worth with that attorney/client privilege crap!

Nemesis

OK, fine, Julie, when you get accused of a crime, we'll let the prosecutor record all your meetings with your lawyer.

Julie R.

I'm not talking about somebody accused of a crime which would make anything they told their lawyer a client/attorney privilege. I'm talking about the attorneys that are ASSISTING in crimes who then come with that "client/attorney privilege" crap to illegally withhold records with the help of the corrupt Erie County courts.

Nemesis

"I'm not talking about somebody accused of a crime which would make anything they told their lawyer a client/attorney privilege."

Yes you are - it's all the same. If you employ an attorney, everything between the two of you is confidential. You don't get to pick and choose when peoples' Constitutional rights are valid.

"I'm talking about the attorneys that are ASSISTING in crimes who then come with that "client/attorney privilege" crap to illegally withhold records with the help of the corrupt Erie County courts."

Only public records are public. Attorney/Client communications are not public records. You demonstrate that you don't begin to grasp basic legal concepts, and yet we're supposed to accept at face value your hysterics about a supposed conspiracy at the courthouse.

Julie R.

I've told this story so many times I've lost count but allow me to tell it once again.

After my mother's death I found a fraud quitclaims deed filed in the Erie County Recorder's office that fraudulently transferred my mother's half to property. The quitclaims deed was prepared by some Lorain County attorney I never heard of before and it was dated seven months before my mother's death when she was totally incompetent. The fraud quitclaims falsely stated that a couple of idiots from Huron were my mother's attorneys-in-fact (when I knew they sure weren't) and it also falsely stated that a POA was on file in the Erie County Recorder but there sure wasn't. (I later found the forged generic piece of junk ~ prepared by one of my mother's Huron attorneys ~ concealed in the Lorain County Recorder) The snake Lorain County attorney also prepared a new fraud TOD Deed that defrauded the 4th beneficiary to my mother's half.

Now on to the attorney/client privilege crap. When I contacted that Lorain County attorney that I never heard of before his joke response was: "I don't have to tell you anything, lady. You aren't my client. Ever hear of the attorney/client privilege?" My response was: "Attorney/client privilege? So who may I ask was your client --- it sure wasn't my mother." His response was to slam the phone down on me.

Nemesis

That's his job. Your attorney is expected to keep your secrets even after you die.

Go on Julie, keep demonstrating that you don't comprehend basic principles of the legal system. Destroy any remaining credibility your sad tale of woe has left.

Julie R.

Duh. The way you're feigning ignorance you must be an attorney. The Lorain County attorney didn't "keep the secrets" of the crimes committed by the dirt-bags from Huron ---- the snake instead participated in the crimes.

Nemesis

His participation, real or imagined by you, has no bearing on whether he kept the secrets of those for whom he worked. But hey, Julie, I understand - logic is hard.

Julie R.

His criminal participation was not only real, it's a matter of public record. Why do you think the joke courts pulled off that scam to sell property at a sheriff sale. But hey, Nemesis, I understand --- illegal scams are what attorneys and the Erie County courts are known for.

Julie R.

Hey Nemisis, we're always hearing about this attorney/client privilege but have you ever heard of of the attorney/deceased client privilege? I heard that one, too. It came from my mother's Huron attorneys.

(one couldn't even make up the crap that goes on in corrupt Erie County)

Nemesis

Of course I have, because privilege survives the client. By the way, you said it yourself "my mother's Huron attorneys." You admit they were her attorneys - that means they are not permitted to discuss her matters with you unless she gives them permission, which, of course, she can't.

But hey, I get it - Logic is hard.

NotYourAverageF...

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

whocares

Hey, Perkins doesn't have to be the main story in todays paper.

JACKEL

Sanford and son was funnier !

VOTENO

I'd rather have Fox than Gunner.

Huron_1969

Take him...... PLEASE!

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