Huron Schools right to know

Register
Jun 26, 2013

 

The Huron school board might be wise to consider board member John Caporini's suggestion the board make public the letter the district received from its liability insurance carrier detailing its reasons for canceling the district's insurance coverage. 

The school board has opted to withhold the the letter, citing attorney-client privilege. We're not sure how a letter from an insurer can be construed that way, but at least it's a plausible argument. 

But whether or not the letter is ever made public won't change the contents of the letter, and the board majority might be wise to heed Caporini's suggestion to put it on the table so the public is fully informed. 

Fellow board member Kevin Asher supported Caporini, urging the board to consider what settlement options might be available that could end the litigation and reduce the long-term costs related to the decision to fire former superintendent Fred Fox. Asher also correctly pointed out that board members cannot discuss in open session documents that are not established as being part of the public record, such as the insurance company letter.

Caporini and Asher were again out-voted by the board majority, but we agree with them: The public has a right to know. 

Comments

eastside

I believe the Huron Board is wise enough to keep this out of the media. Your pot stirring is not conducive to anything positive but selling newspapers.

Tsu Dho Nimh

Ditto, eastside!

TboneWalkerJr

It is a PUBLIC record subject to FOIA. Your point is more based on small town hick politics.

Huron_1969

Asher files his own lawsuit contributing to the risk factor the insurance company uses in making their determination, and then turns around and says he wants the end result to be made public.

Kinda like the little boy who poops his pants and says "mommy, look what I did !"

Julie R.

I totally agree with Caporini on this. Enough already of that attorney-client privilege crap!

Gardenman

eastside it could be thought of as "pot stirring" but I think the public has a right to know.....bottom line it's their money on the line here. I realise it's a fine line for some on what the public has a right to know yet in case after case where a governing board has been open and straight forward it has paid off in the long run. Get a board who wants to invoke secret actions etc and it always come back to hurt them.

TboneWalkerJr

In this case it is not even a fine line but a crystal clear big black line that the school board is intentionally on the wrong side of. The board should be sued not only to release the letter but investigated by the state attorney general for possible crimes committed

YoMamma

LOL... Just ask Perkins!

EdgeOfTheH20

I believe that first photo is from last year..

Informed

So please explain why Caporini and Asher didn't feel the public had a right to know what Fox was up to while he was stealing from taxpayers. Talk about hypocrites!

Tsu Dho Nimh

It was Asher who brought up the topic, not Caporini. Caporini wanted to pass a motion to bring back Fred. Another example of the Register mixing things up! Also, please look at the Ohio Attorney General’s Sunshine Law Manual, pp. 36-37 (available online), which explains that the work done by insurance company representatives in analyzing a claim is subject to a privilege (even though they are not attorneys). Aren't Asher and Caporini the ones who keep bringing up the violation of Sunshine Laws?

TboneWalkerJr

This is not about analyzing a claim but denial of insurance, therefore subject to sunshine law requirements to be made a public record viewable by the public

Tsu Dho Nimh

The board's attorney has deemed it as not being a public record at this time. Until they are told differently by a "legal person", they should follow Mr. Gashen's advice. Mr. Asher is NOT an attorney and doesn't even play one on TV! LOL

There you go again

Hmmm... what do you think is in the letter?

local man

You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out that the insurance company basically believes the actions of the three board members who ousted Fox prior to the Ohio Ethics Decision as well as well as later ousting Fox again against the decision made by the arbitrator is the reason for them to cancel the current insurance policy. Forget about all the hidden agendas - shoot from the hip, face the consequences.

Bleeding Turnips

Seems to me that the insurance is paid by the taxpayer. Taxpayers should have the right to know how their money is spent and why it's going to cost them more in the future.

Huron_1969

There's no doubt in my opinion the insurance letter is a public document. I just find it ironic the 2 guys who wanted Fox's misdeeds kept secret are now calling for anything to be made public. Especially where Asher is concerned since his frivilous lawsuit in all probability factored into the insuance companies decision. Asher says "look mommy, I pooped my pants. Wanna see it !"

Tsu Dho Nimh

No doubt Kevin Asher's childish claims are a major factor.

donutshopwannabe

It’s been a long time since I’ve been on but can’t stand being quiet. Attorney/client privilege - what does it matter? Why won’t they release it to the public? Only one reason, it’s bad news for the three stooges. The insurance company has dropped them, we know that and I’m betting they will not cover the liability. Think about this – the insurance carrier has had 300 clients and they only have dropped (1) prior to Huron. Why would you not disclose this to the public? Why? The only reason can be that they are covering up bad news. You don’t have to be a mental giant to see this.

As I said 8 months ago – we are now in Pat Murray’s wheelhouse. He takes a case – he doesn’t lose. Fact! I know there are those out there who think the young upstart, Mr. Legando can take down Mr. Murray but I don’t think so. He is sharp but does not have the experience.

Your thoughts on this please. This is going to be great – I’ll take bets – cash only!

UgtaBkdnMe

Where should we place these bets ? The Pied or Lighthouse ? Heard you have a copy of the letter. Why don't you share it ?

Informed

Um, it is not umcommon for an insurance carrier to cancel a policy after a claim. Ever filed a claim on your home owner's insurance. For certain things, they will cancel after one claim. No, it isn't a big shock that they are cancelling.
And for once and for all, there was no arbitrator! Fox turned down the chance to go to arbitration. Probably because an arbitrator ruling is binding and he knew he would lose. If the three board members were wrong, why would Fox not choose to go to arbitration?

Gardenman

Per my memory the current liability insurer Huron City Schools has is a number of school systems who buy together insurance coverage at reduced asprices. Again as I remember this is the FIRST time in the history of this school district insurance group that has ever cancelled a school district. Kinda telling isn't it that first in the many years this group of group that Huron City Schools is cancelled.

Again, as I remember the arbitrator who ruled in Fred Fox's rehiring has never had a ruling overtuned in n court of law. Huron City Schools chose to go against the arbitrator's ruling.

To me the odds seems to be stacking up against the majority on the Board over and over. The irony of this whole situation was an attorney who offered 10 hours of FREE legal service and the most inexperienced member of the Board bite and look where the other two have been lead. What a mess !!

UgtaBkdnMe

There was no arbitrator. There was a referee. An arbitrator's finding is binding, a referee gives an opinion. Quite a bit of difference. The court issue now at hand is Fred Fox suing the board based upon an unjustifiable termination in his opinion. The board spelled out their justifications at the board meeting. The referee's opinion is not a ruling an cannot be upheld or over-ruled. The court will determine if the board was justified or not in terminating Fox. What you are recalling is Kevin Asher's twist on the situation. Channel 13 in Toledo showed last night that TPS just fired one of its principals even though the referee recommended reinstatement. Boards are not obligated to accept the referee's opinion and often the fired person loses.

UgtaBkdnMe

Here is a link http://www.13abc.com/story/22686...
Not accepting the ref's opinion is not as uncommon as Asher would like you to think.

Informed

Some of you people are clueless--there was never an arbitrator because Fox would not go to arbitration, which is binding! The opinion (not ruling) came from a referee and does not have to be followed.

Gardenman

Informed I think you have "hit the nail right on the head." Your very posting name says it all. Their are people that are clueless and that is what the SR, many people posting here and many in the area are saying......be transparent and get the information out there. It does no good for the majority on the Board to hide items they have selected to not share with the tax paying public. This does no good other than to bring more "clueless" and un "Informed" people to the table BUT then maybe that is the whole purpose of the action.

eriemom

I don't live in Huron, so my opinion is clearly irrelevant.I do want to add that this Superintendent did much good for your district in the past. It would have been more civil to replace him without destroying his career and ability to make a living. The three board members who made the affair public injured the children of the parties involved more than anything else. Think about that when you take the moral high road.