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.

Hospice of the Western Reserve

Area Agency on Aging 10B, Inc.

Greater Akron Chamber


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

Cleveland deal ramps up civilian oversight of police
i would like to see police get mandatory psych evals one a year from out side the department.

The generation gap in care for developmentally disabled Ohioans
I don't understand how a few hours a day of caregiving can possibly help a person who lives with complex/multiple disabilities. Many waiver recipients totally d...

Marijuana referendum may change more than pot's legal status in Ohio
If our representatives would act in accordance with the will of the people things like this wouldn't happen. They dragged their feet and blocked discussion on t...

Area pastors and congregation members protest justice system
I live in Cleveland. trust me when I say the high incarceration rate is due to the high crime rate.

H1-B visa limits inhibit Cleveland startups and tech ventures
End the Indian h1-b visa scam now! Rishi Oza and other Indian operatives continue to lie both about the 'need' for these visas and the qualifications of Indians...

Ohio's attorney general rejectsthe latest proposal to legalize marijuana
i think the ag launguage is money hes talking about drug companies must pay him more than responsible ohio can

PBS documentary chronicles the fall of Saigon through new footage and stories
Hi, Does anyone know the number - in the pbs special "Last Days of Vietnam" documentary, of how many Vietnamese were evacuated? Please e-mail me the answer. T...

Protest planned at tomorrow's FirstEnergy meeting
The problems of the poor and downtrodden have nothing to do with First Energy. They are the result of Republican legislators who consistently reduce taxes on th...

Ohio bill would help smaller communities with LGBT discrimination laws
Do we not try and have rights for all individuals equally? On the HUD list of "preferred" candidates who get "special consideration" it states that: For purp...

Ohio likely will continue with two types of police academies
Wake up people your wanting a Harvard law school education for a job that may pay a little over the poverty level. I don't know anyone who could support a wife ...

Copyright © 2015 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