News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Northeast Ohio Medical University

Area Agency on Aging 10B, Inc.

Knight Foundation


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Education


The Medina school board's unusual step is unlikely to keep it out of court
Requirements of the open meetings law may now have been  met, but the superintendent says the board is trying to give itself cover
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
 
The dispute over the Medina school superintendent's contract is likely heading to court.
Courtesy of Flickr
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

The Medina school board has taken the unusual step of invalidating a contract it now says it approved illegally. But, as WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports, the dispute over the superintendent’s contract is far from over.

SCHULTZE: The unusual step and where it's headed

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (2:14)


The Medina Board of Education has been taking a lot of heat since the action it took at its Jan. 7 meeting became public six weeks later.

The board had unanimously approved a new five-year contract with Superintendent Randy Stepp that included an $83,000 signing bonus.

But the contract wasn’t on the agenda before the meeting. The board didn’t specify why it was going into executive session during the meeting. And after the meeting, the minutes didn’t reflect what happened.

This week, the school board acknowledged what many have claimed, that the whole thing violated the state’s open meetings law. And then the board went a step further – rescinding the contract.

A rarity
Dave Marburger of Cleveland has been practicing first amendment and open government law for 30 years. He says the Medina case as unusual on several fronts.

“Even when, as a matter of law, the act is invalid and their lawyer knows it is, it is rare for the public body to acknowledge that they made mistake,” he said. Even rarer, he said, is a government to undo “the act on their own.”   

Dennis Hetzel is executive director of the Ohio Newspaper Association and president of the Ohio Coalition for Open Government. He says cases like this one often end in do-overs, with local governments trying to go back to affirm their actions.

“If a board does kind of an ‘Oh whoops’ --  and often it is innocent, they realize after the fact that they went too far and they shouldn’t have done what they did -- they just simply quickly correct it.” And he said the courts often respond: "There’s no significant damage, … you corrected it, it’s moot, don’t do it again.'"

A different legal threat now
But the Medina board’s action is now likely to be in court on a totally different basis. Superintendent Stepp, who is on paid leave, says the deal was valid, and the board is trying to “profit from their mistake and remove themselves from a legal obligation to uphold a contract that they willfully and unanimously approved.”

Stepp said in an email that the dispute is in the hands of his lawyer so he can’t comment further.


Related WKSU Stories

Controversy, spending and contracts diminish chances for Medina's levy
Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Pluto: The Browns split from Manziel is long overdue
Get Brock Osweiler from the Denver Broncos! He's fantastic and seems like a great person.

Exploradio: Autism in the workplace
I would love to get more information re: Autism on The Town and other such programs in Northeast Ohio. Thanks!!

Human trafficking cases rise in Ohio
It is about time this is presented to proceed with a plan of prevention..to protect our youth.And very necessary to inform communities through school, churches ...

Fermented food company aims to preserve Cleveland's farm-to-table movement
This is terrific! I make my own sauerkraut and consider it vital to good health. Well done, I wish you all success.

Ohio doctors get new guidelines for prescribing certain painkillers
I would gladly smoke pot to get off pain killers but its not legal.It would save the hassle of doctor visits for pill counts,pee tests,blood tests,driving to pi...

Ohio unemployment cuts are nearing a Statehouse vote
What about those that are laid off seasonally? My husband has been employed by the same company for 26 years and has been laid off (for the last 17) mid-Januar...

Ban on microbeads is a big step in fighting plastic pollution
What a bunch of liberal "so open minded their brains fell out" tree huggin yuppies. Professing to be wise they became fools.

Who's on -- and left off -- Ohio's medical marijuana task force?
Biggest joke everm these people are evil they know marijuana is harmless they rigged the polls last nov everypne kmows it

Dayton 'Black Lives Matter' protesters to appear in court today
Police to fast with the trigger finger and not the brain.A lot of police officers out here judge by color first instead of accessing the situation first. If a p...

Akron considers what it will take to ensure green and complete streets
Appreciate the work of this task force and the impact on policy and transparency.

Copyright © 2016 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University