Douglas County superintendent fired: Parent sues board members

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At issue is a private meeting where some council members issued an ultimatum to the superintendent to resign or be fired.

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. – A Douglas County School District parent is suing four newly elected school board members, alleging they violated Colorado’s open meeting law after revealing they met privately to discuss the removal of Superintendent Corey Wise, who was later fired.

The lawsuit names board chairman Mike Peterson and fellow board members Rebecca Myers, Kaylee Winegar and Christy Williams as defendants.

In November, the seven-member Douglas County Council was reshuffled when more than half of its members were replaced by a group of four Conservative candidates. It is the first time the Tories have controlled the board since 2017.

Peterson, Myers, Winegar and Williams all won their seats in November. They raced together on a “Kids First” platform.

On January 31, the other three board members, Elizabeth Hanson, Susan Meek and David Ray, held a public meeting at which they said they had been approached privately the previous week to tell them that the chairman and the vice chairman of the board had asked Wise to resign. If he didn’t, the three board members were told that the other four were ready to replace Wise.

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The lawsuit alleges the Jan. 31 meeting violated that law because no public notice was given of a meeting to discuss the superintendent’s future, which is a “public matter.”

On February 3, hundreds of Douglas County teachers participated in a “work stoppage” to protest the action, which resulted in the cancellation of all classes in the district.

That same afternoon, the school board called a special meeting on Friday, February 4 to discuss Wise’s future. The lawsuit claims board member Ray was not told of the meeting until after 5 p.m. on Feb. 3 and says he, Hanson, and Meek were never asked about their availability to attend the meeting. meeting.

RELATED: Douglas County School Board Votes to Remove Superintendent

At the special meeting, the board voted 4-3 to fire Wise.

The lawsuit claims the defendants had already presented Wise with an ultimatum in private and decided they intended to fire him before the “duly notified board meeting”, which was in violation of the law.

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When the complaint was filed, Wise was still superintendent and the parent who filed it sought an injunction to stop the board from meeting and firing Wise or discussing his future, but the matter was not addressed by court only after this meeting. place.

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