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.

Lehmans

Wayside Furniture


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

Will Ohio's marijuana initiative follow casinos' lead?
We just ask to have marijuana legalized and here comes some nimrod trying to rob us of our rights and make us buy it from some legalized new type DRUG DEALER th...

Fancy dinners from humble beginnings at The Blue Door
Grandma of Chris Miller moved to Florida in a retirement community but I sure miss the Falls and the Blue Door, and the fine service and the true friendship of ...

The Black Keys guitar tech's moment in the spotlight
Nice job, Vivian. It's always nice to hear about the unsung heroes getting their due! Thank you, Chuck Johnston (Full disclosure - I'm a friend of the Carney fa...

A guide for gift-shopping for older Ohians
I'll never be to old for peanut brittle.

Akron's Tuba Christmas: A resounding blast of holiday spirit
Nice piece, Vivian! Looking forward to hearing you move from flute to tuba on Saturday. Love hearing your interviews and this seemed extra special since I kno...

Cleveland Hugo Boss workers are fighting for their jobs again
Bro. Ginard; I support your effert to keep your jobs, I understand all about concesions, I was a Union offical from 1965 until 1991 and the company th...

Asian Carp control could benefit from bill passed by House, heading to the Senate
help me fight the battle against invasive carp by method of harvest

Ohio's Portman supports lifting limits on party political money
If Portman was legitimately concerned about outside groups influence on elections he would have supported the DISCLOSE act. Instead he helped block it being bro...

Study shows trade with China has cost more than 3 million U.S. jobs
I disagree with James Dorn! If we don't change the playing field and make it a fair competition the whole US industry will be weaker and weaker. Eventually all ...

Copyright © 2014 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