State's Attorney Investigating Possible Open Meetings Violations by School Board

Kendall County State's Attorney Eric Weis said a school board member reported the incidents last week.

Kendall County State’s Attorney Eric Weis has launched an investigation into possible violations of the Open Meetings Act by the board.

Weis said Monday morning he was contacted last week by phone by a member of the school board who wanted to report the possible violations stemming from unrecorded closed session meetings from April 14, 16, 19, 20, and 21.

Weis would not say which member contacted him, but revealed the school board followed up with a letter Friday asking for an investigation. Weis said one member of the public had also contacted his office about the violations.

“It’s a little unusual to have the government body actually be the one to contact us in something like this,” Weis said.

School Board President Bill Walsh The closed session meetings were held to interview candidates for open administration positions within the district. Minutes of those meetings were taken by Walsh and will be presented for approval at Monday night's meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. at . 

Weis said he doesn’t anticipate a lengthy investigation, as the school board reported the incident itself. As for what kind of punishment could be expected, Weis said unintentional violations of OMA don’t carry the same weight as intentionally skirting the law.

“Generally we just try to make sure the same problem doesn’t happen again,” he said. “We just want to make sure corrective actions are taken.”

Weis said his office will issue a written opinion on the investigation at its conclusion. 

Jane Enviere May 08, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Exactly, John. They are generally adequate. It's disingenous to suggest we are "one of the best in the nation".
onetiredpuppy May 08, 2012 at 07:15 PM
Don't be fooled... They payed O'Malley an added $40,000 over his predecesor because they were afraid to lose "their candidate of choice". He hade that much in his previous district and would have not taken a pay cut to come here. Be real... If they were so afraid to lose a "good" candidate, why did they lose all the other quality administrators that have departed in the past three years? Because they were not willing to pay for their quality of service? Clearly, other districts felt that they were outstanding administrators and swept them from under our rug. Just to make a head count, in the past three to four years whe have lost (and this is in no particular order): K. Monn - Assist. Sup. for Finance to Batavia, D. Ringelestein - Director of Tech to West Aurora, K. Lipke - Principal to Pontiac as Superintendent, R. Segarra - Director of ELL to Indian Prairie, J. Ricken - Principal to Indian Prairie, M. Neahring - Director of Student Services to West Aurora, E. Howerton - Principal to West Aurora as Asst. Superint., T. Murphy - Principal to Gower, J. Schmitdgal - Asst. Principal to Indian Prairie.... Should I continue? All of these administrators left because someone else valued them more than we did. Seems to me, you pay your "good guys" to keep them instead of training them to become someone else's success stories.
Julie DiCaro May 09, 2012 at 03:27 PM
This BOE is complete and total clown shoes. I love that the people who put them in office love them because they cut costs and that's the only thing considered. Meanwhile, our children continue to suffer at their hands. What a mess.
Loreta J. May 09, 2012 at 06:25 PM
I have to believe that a portion of the $6,000 in taxes for schools out of the $9,000 total tax bill we received goes to pay for transportation. So we are paying for transportation already. We also pay a fee for the sports our kids play, plus a multitude of additional fees. Somehow the funds are mismanaged. Either it's truly the State of Illinois that is so bankrupt and has destroyed any hope or funding for public schools, or the School Board has mismanaged in some way. I don't claim to know for sure. I will say, that we are in this mess, and these are the current proposed solutions, and so I guess I'd rather have the school hours changed by 5 or 10 minutes and make adjustments to some bus routes, over cutting programs such as sports or music. I believe they are truly looking at options that would avoid impacting these types of programs that are core to kids development, socialization, etc. It is ridiculous that we are even in this mess, but we are, so I guess I'm thankfull that at least right now, no opportunities for learning and enrichment will be lost.
Dan May 11, 2012 at 02:08 AM
"Weis would not say which member contacted him, but revealed the school board followed up with a letter Friday asking for an investigation" This statement has been bothering me a little bit. I don't understand how the the School Board can issue a letter asking for an investigation without a public meeting? Doesn't this require the members of the school board to meet (electronically, by phone etc.) and discuss, write. Isn't this another violation of OMA? This letter in particular doesn't bother me as much as the idea that the school board may be routinely meeting and discussing other matters "off the books" as the preparation of this letter suggests they may be doing. @stevenjack can you ask the board or the Mr. Weiss how the board can draft a letter without conferring or meeting? Seems another violation.


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