School hires new law firm to avoid disclosure

Fri, 2015-03-13

Last week, the authors appealed the refusal by the A-B Regional School District (ABRSD) to provide documents and minutes that would detail why a top administrator appears to have left the school district but continues to receive full salary for months after her departure.

We were told that Administrator Liza Huber, the former Director of Pupil Services, was retiring at the end of the school year, which would be the end of June, yet she appears to have left her position back in September or October. The exact details and the reason for her departure are a closely guarded secret by the school. Our attempt to find out why the school continues to pay her salary has been stonewalled because the school administration calls it a “matter of privacy.” See our original article here: http://www.actonforum.com/story/former-school-administrator-continues-re...

This week, we received a copy of a letter sent by attorney D.M. Moschos of Mirick O’Connell, Attorneys at Law, informing the Secretary of State’s Supervisor of Public Records that all communications to the ABRSD should be handled by the law firm.

Our original article was partly concerned with the issue of cost. Should taxpayers be paying a public employee over $100,000 for not working? And under what circumstances would such payments be justified?

Not only will the ABRSD not answer those questions, but it has also decided to spend more taxpayers’ money by hiring a new law firm to contest our appeal. We asked Superintendent Glenn Brand how much the law firm charges by the hour and how much the ABRSD plans to spend for their services.

Of perhaps greater concern is that this added layer of bureaucracy may be designed to slow down a resolution of this matter which could mean that, at least from a financial perspective, the issue could be moot after June, when the employee in question will have “retired.”

Perhaps the school has a legitimate reason for withholding the specific circumstances of Ms. Huber’s departure and paying her full salary for not working all but a couple of months of the school year. If so, a speedy resolution would be in both the school’s and the public’s best interest. We hope that the Supervisor of Public Records reviews our appeal promptly and the school administration does not try to delay.

THE NEXT ARTICLE IN THIS SERIES: http://www.actonforum.com/story/law-firm-gives-ab-school-district-deep-d...

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Comments

How about some honesty?

How can we expect students to learn the value and necessity of honesty when the leaders of the school can't be honest with the School Committee, parents, citizens and taxpayers?

Are they trying the strategy of delay until people loose interest? It often works in politics, so why not give it a try if you are a slippery lawyer or unscrupulous administrator.

I hope they feel shame deep inside until someone steps up and explains what is going on.

Just tell the truth, it is easier to keep your story straight.

We sure could use that money to cover the extra cost of snow removal the DPW incurred this year.

Scott Smyers lives in Acton.

TRUTH and OPENNESS

A panel of our peers, duly elected by us to oversee the management of our school system, has arbitrarily determined we need not know why they choose to pay an employee's salary when the employee is not working. As I have said many times; never trust a politician (any and all elected officials), they are all self serving and liars when it is to their advantage to avoid sharing the truth.

What is to be done? Pursue, pursue, pursue the truth and vote them out of office regardless of the findings. They choose to act for their benefit NOT OURS and keep their actions privileged. The leaders of this country from the federal level to the town level are working 24/7 to steal our right to information. Where are we going as a society in light of this. We have returned to a country of financial have's and have not's (pretty much). The NSA spies on all of us 24/7 to the point of reading (or searching) every matter of electronic communication. Google reads every e-mail processed through them and extracts any data they choose.

Where do we go for a break from lies, un-truths, invasion and infringement on our rights to privacy? Certainly not the Acton School Committee!