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Ethics Board to Review Complaints Against Superintendent, School Board Pres.

The board of ethics will meet Thursday to perform to determine probable cause in a complaint filed against Windsor Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Villar and board President Doreen Richardson with respect to their hiring of Loyola University's Dr. Marlo

The board of ethics will meet Thursday to perform a probable cause review of an ethics complaint filed by Windsor board of education members Cristina Santos, Paul Panos and Pam DiGiore.

According to the complaint filed Dec. 7, the three Republican board members allege Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Villar and board of education President Doreen Richardson violated the conflict of interest and the gifts and favors clauses of the code of ethics.

The board of ethics makes probable cause determinations based on three criteria:

  1. Whether the allegations constitute a violation of the code of ethics;
  2. Whether there is substantial evidence "to warrant further proceedings;" and
  3. Whether the circumstances, official or employee "are governed by a collective bargaining agreement, personal employment contract, or other agreement policy... which would take precedence..."

In the complaint, Santos, Panos and DiGiore allege Dr. Villar is in violation of the following bylaws, policies or codes:

  • the board of education's bylaw concerning the time, place and notification of meetings when he and Richardson scheduled a workshop for the board with Loyola University-Chicago's Dr. Marlon James in June;
  • board policy and administrative regulation 3100, which address standard bidding procedure, when Dr. James was hired without a competitive bidding process;
  • and the town's gifts and favors clause of the code of ethics by "endorsing" Dr. James' services, "a person acquaintance of Ms. Richardson," while introducing no other candidates for consideration.

Additionally, the Santos, Panos and DiGiore allege Richardson is in violation of the following bylaws, policies or codes:

  • the code of ethics' conflict of interest clause when she brought Dr. James before the board as "the sole candidate for the possible equity study;"
  • board's bylaw concerning the time, place and notification of meetings when she called for a workshop to be held for the board with Dr. James in June;
  • board bylaw concerning agendas by failing to include a public comment item on the June 25 workshop agenda;
  • the board's conflict of interest clause that state's "No board member shall use his or her position on the board to influence a non-board member in an employment or contractual decision; nor shall a board member use his or her position on the board to influence a board member in employment or contractual decisions other than those routinely made by this board;
  • the code of ethics' clause requiring board members to "uphold and enforce all laws, rules, regulations and court orders pertaining to public schools, and bring about any needed change only through legal and ethical means
  • the code of ethics' gifts and favors clause by "endorsing" Dr. James' services "while not providing the same opportunity to other/similar consultants;"
  • and the board's policy regarding a competitive bidding process

Time for public comment has been scheduled on the ethics boards' agenda for Thursday evening.

The meeting will being at 7 p.m. in the town hall's Ludlow Room.

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