Ex-board members stay silent

Investigation into obtained DeVincentis e-mails continues

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  • — Former Steamboat Springs School Board members are wanted for questioning, but it is unlikely they will cooperate with an ongoing School Board investigation.

    Former board members Pat Gleason, Paula Stephenson, Tami Havener and Tom Miller-Freutel confirmed they have been contacted by Earl Rhodes, the Grand Junction attorney leading the School Board's investigation into how e-mails sent in 2004-05 by former elementary school principal and current School Board member John DeVincentis were obtained.

    The four former School Board members - all of whom still call Steamboat home - said they have no plans to pay hundreds of dollars in attorney's fees to voluntarily speak with an investigator.

    "I'm a private citizen and have been for two years," said Stephenson, who was the School Board president at the time the controversial e-mails were sent. "I don't see why I need to come in and help with an investigation going on right now. While I was on the board, I don't feel the superintendent or board did anything illegal or unethical. This has nothing to do with me."

    Gleason, who recently resigned from the School Board, gave the e-mails to the Steamboat Pilot & Today. School Board President Denise Connelly ordered the investigation into how Gleason obtained the e-mails.

    The e-mails were sent between DeVincentis and a Mercer Island, Wash., teacher from DeVincentis' school computer and school account. The e-mails attacked former Steamboat Springs Superintendent Cyndy Simms and briefly referenced current Superintendent Donna Howell.

    DeVincentis has apologized for the e-mails and held public forums for residents to address their concerns to him.

    "We would like people to cooperate and talk to us and let us know what they know," Connelly said.

    Connelly said district employees and current School Board members have been interviewed.

    The point of the investigation isn't to clear anyone of wrongdoing, she said. The investigation is ongoing to ensure policies are in place to protect students and employees, Connelly said. She also wants to know if any policies were violated.

    "It's a matter of finding out what happened in terms of looking at our policies," Connelly said. "It's more an internal investigation of our policies for our role as protectors of our policies and information of the staff and students."

    Gleason said he provided Rhodes with a statement that said, "I had access to those records by statute and also, in case (they wanted) to know, Superintendent Howell nor any current staff member had any involvement."

    Like Stephenson, Havener doesn't plan to talk to Rhodes.

    "I don't know anything about it," she said.

    Miller-Freutel said he would be comfortable speaking face to face with current board members, but not with lawyers involved.

    "I have indicated to the gentleman (Rhodes) there was nothing I could lend," he said.

    Rhodes declined to reveal any specifics about the investigation.

    "I just don't think I'm at liberty to say anything," he said Tuesday.

    Comments

    Sunspot 6 years, 11 months ago

    "I don't feel the superintendent or board did anything illegal or unethical. This has nothing to do with me."

    Yea right. Just a well planned end executed smear job to take down a sitting school board member. Took two years.

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    Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 11 months ago

    Wonder why all the aversion to talking if past board members have nothing to hide? You'd think they'd want to help out to save money.

    And what the heck does this mean: "- said they have no plans to pay hundreds of dollars in attorney's fees to voluntarily speak with an investigator."

    Talking to the investigator voluntarily doesn't cost you anything monetarily...unless you do actually have something to hide.

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    Hammurabi 6 years, 11 months ago

    I attended the School Board meeting where the Board President asked the sitting Board members to vote to proceed with the investigation. While I don't remember her exact words, she said that this investigation may or may not lead to civil and/or criminal charges. That statement alone would make anyone in this day and age want to have a lawyer present. Given this board's proclivity for witch hunts, I can understand past board members feelings.

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    Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 11 months ago

    Thanks, Linus! On vacation last week to Las Vegas and San Diego.

    Hammurabi- good point, but wouldn't it then cost more to all parties to be subpoenaed? So, spend less money to actually help or more money to be forced. If you get subpoenaed as a witness, you aren't entitled to be compensated for your lawyer fees, either, right?

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    jeannie berger 6 years, 11 months ago

    Does the BOE have the power to subpoena someone? This is an investigation taken up by the BOE and the investigator is their lawyer. There is no grand jury, no D.A., no police action involved so I don't see where a subpoena comes into play.

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    reallocal 6 years, 11 months ago

    If there were a criminal investigation going on, yes, but there is not. I doubt this is from lack of trying on the BOE's part. Matt, the BOE is not able to supoena anyone. Furthermore, we now know that no current staff members are involved. So why is the investigation continuing? And, in case anyone on this site can answer this "hard question," why was Earl Rhodes selected to lead this investigation over a list of lawyers provided by the mediator familiar with this investigation?

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    Sunspot 6 years, 11 months ago

    Reallocal

    "Furthermore, we now know that no current staff members are involved." Did Donna Howell resign and I didn't hear about it? Gleason said no staff were involved but he has about as much credibility as you.

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    reallocal 6 years, 11 months ago

    Other than releasing the emails (which for the record I do not think damages his credibility at all), when has Gleason lied? When has he not been credible, specifically?

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    Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 11 months ago

    Reallocal (and in answer to Dreamriver)- The BOE doesn't have the power to subpoena, but if civil/criminal action comes about, then people who didn't cooperate have the possibility of being subpoenaed. Right now, it's an informal investigation. I'm expressing possibilities when looking at the long-term road ahead on this. You must prepare for any outcome.

    As for Rhodes being picked over a list of lawyers "familiar" with the investigation, I'd rather have someone with less knowledge prior to picking them so as not to form an opinion without knowing all the facts. Sound familiar?

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    Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 11 months ago

    Reallocal- Gleason doesn't have to lie to be deceitful. Withholding pertinent (and obviously troubling) information for 2 years doesn't help his credibility except in those people not willing to look at all sides of the problem.

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    another_local 6 years, 11 months ago

    What a smokescreen. The BOE should stop wasting money on this non-sense.

    I'll sign that petition when it comes around!

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    reallocal 6 years, 11 months ago

    Matt, please reread my comment. I said the mediator from Denver was familiar with the situation, not the lawyers on the list. I'd rather have someone heading the investigation with experience in "informal investigations" with regard to open records policy (not necessarily this particular case) than someone the board picked who was not on that list. So why do you think they did that?

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    Scott Wedel 6 years, 11 months ago

    I am not clear on the point of this part of the investigation. It already has been established the previous school board learned of the emails shortly after Dr D retired as principal. And then Pat Gleason gave the emails to the SB Today. What else is there to investigate? The leak was found. The only thing left to investigate are school board policies and the law to see if the school board should file a civil lawsuit or turn it over to the DA to pursue potential criminal charges.

    And a lawyer would certainly be advisable for the previous school board members before disclosing to an investigator what all but one of them treated as confidential information. If there are potential criminal charges then obviously Pat Gleason isn't going to talk to the investigator without a lawyer. And the others would not want to risk committing the same violations by talking to the investigator.

    The school board investigator is not part of the DA's office and presumably could be forced by the school board to release all transcripts of all conversations. Also, there is a massive conflict of interest for a school board to hire an investigator that wants to talk to the some of the same people that are leading the recall effort against one of its members.

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    Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 11 months ago

    Reallocal- Sorry. The way it was written could be interpretted as one way or the other. (Hmmm...same with emails being not in context when you can't see the entire conversation...funny how these allusions keep coming up.) I can't answer why Rhodes was picked over any other on that list.

    Wedel- You first paragraph is mostly correct, but the investigation can also let us know more about why weren't the emails released from the get-go, or depending on District policy, should they have just been given away on a whim or because they were emails from a school computer (which should always be regarded as confidential until petitioned) if they should have gone thru the formal petitioning process. The School District is part of a governmental agency and should have checks and balances in place (as all government entities should) before releasing information that could possibly be confidential.

    As for the lawyer, I'd sure advise it, but if a person has truly done nothing wrong, an initial talk shouldn't have any concerns for them. All they need do is spend about $50 on a digital recording device of their own; maybe less. It's an item most people could find a separate use for. Heck- even my MP3 player has voice recording abilities.

    I also don't see any conflict of interest about talking to the same people initiating the recall...those people are past Board members. Would you call it a conflict of interest for a past Board members to start a recall of a current Board member? I'd call that 6 of one; 1/2 dozen of the other. Fair is fair.

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    beagle 6 years, 11 months ago

    Scott - Ha! your words: "there is a massive conflict of interest for a school board to hire an investigator that wants to talk to the some of the same people that are leading the recall effort against one of its members."

    where do I even begin on that one? what about the conflict of interest of people leading a recall also being the ones who violated school policy leaking e-mails to get rid of a school board member they didn't agree with? and Devincentis has abstained from the investigation; it's the rest of the board making that happen.

    reallocal - what's the big deal about the lawyer? maybe he was recommended. when you hire someone you usually want references. I suppose you're going to say he's a spy from Iraq.

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    jeannie berger 6 years, 11 months ago

    It could be that members of the board or past members of the board knew there was material that existed from the time that D was having his "trouble" getting his pay for performance from the district. This does not necessarily translate into the board (or past board members) knowing what the material consisted of. It seems to me that if anyone had this material when D was running for the board that it would have somehow made its way into public sight. It doesn't make sense to me that anyone having knowledge of D's statements about lying to the MISB in order to get rid of Simms would have let that lay dormant during his campaign for the school board. Maybe this material regarding D's email was sitting in a corner waiting for someone to go through it before disposing of it. Everything does not have to be a conspiracy.

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    beagle 6 years, 11 months ago

    also Scott, when you say "What else is there to investigate? The leak was found."

    are you thinking that Gleason got the e-mails by himself? there's no way - they had no doubt been deleted and would have been hard to find and hard to get. a skilled employee would have to do it and only would if ordered by their boss.

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    Sunnydays 6 years, 11 months ago

    The problems I have with this are:

    1.) the impact having this information had on Pat Gleason's ability to function on this board. Was there so much disdain toward Dr. Devincentis on Pat's part because of the e-mails that no matter what Dr. D. proposed it would be viewed as an attack on Donna Howell always putting Pat on the defensive, and thus creating more problems and possibly being a bigger problem than the man behind the e-mails. How could he function effectively knowing what he knew and knowing he could bring it out anytime if things were going badly. He should have released it when he got it and in private.

    2.) While I have never been in the position of having information that could destroy another persons career, I hope that if I ever am I would do one of three things. Throw it out would be my first choice; pull the person aside and let him know about the information and suggest he resign would be my second choice; and presenting it to an interested third party such as the board president and having them suggest that action be taken would be my third choice. The last thing I would ever consider is taking it public without speaking to the concerned parties first.

    As to the Montessori program I have mixed feelings today, at the time I thought it was a bad idea and so did many others in the town. Of course the town has changed ALOT since then and the program is being handled well.

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    reallocal 6 years, 11 months ago

    Beagle, give me a break. I think it's important to know why they chose this person, don't you? I'm not saying he's not qualified, competent, or credible, just that I want to know the BOE's reasoning behind selecting him to head the investigation. Unless there is an unacceptable reason for chosing him, I think that's more than reasonable, don't you?

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    reallocal 6 years, 11 months ago

    And a clarification, Matt, Rhodes was not "picked over any other on that list," because that implies that he was on the list to begin with, which he wasn't.

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    jeannie berger 6 years, 11 months ago

    So sunny you are saying that Gleason knew the content of these emails before D ran for the school board and any negative reaction he had (toward D) was from this knowledge and not from his general misapprehension of D's ability or inability to be a productive member of the school board. Pat is a straight shooter and doesn't usually hold back. I think if he had access to these emails early on he would have done something sooner.
    I don't think that lying to get rid of someone (the way D admits to with Simms) is the way to take the high road, do you?

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    Magpie 6 years, 11 months ago

    Sunny - Thanks for being open minded about seeing what the Montessori program has turned into.

    In terms of the past board and what happened with the program, you really can't blame them for 'letting' the program happen. They did everything they could (beyond what might even have been called reasonable) to stop both the charter and then the program from happening. I am sure you have other reasons for disliking the past board, but allowing the Montessori program shouldn't be one of them.

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    elkwatch 6 years, 11 months ago

    reallocal:

    You have posted an unbelievable amount of comments with the same message: hate Devincentis, love Donna, hate new board, love anyone who's against Devincentis, love that e-mails were leaked, hate e-mail investigation, don't like teachers much.
    As one poster said, "What are you doing, hitting the refresh button every 5 seconds so you can attack anyone who disagrees with you or high five anyone who agrees with you? Just what exactly is your agenda concerning this? It seems very personal to you." And, "you can only beat people over the head with your opinion until it does the opposite of what you are trying to convey."

    I was curious so I clicked on your profile to view all your comments.
    Up came 15 pages of stuff between March 21 and now.

    You talk a lot about morals and ethics. A few excerpts:

    "I would rather have employees with morals." "Not if you're working for a MORAL employer. Devincentis has no business being in the same sentence as that word." "Your business ethics and seeming lack of personal morals and respect would immediately flag you..." "Although, your admission of multiple votes pokes a rather large hole in your credibility, if not your sense of morals and ethics." "...your rewriting is certainly a window into the mind of a person without the ethical, moral, or logical considerations one should hold when considering the future of a school district." "...your statement "Those who are writing to complain about Dr. D.'s words need to fall back and look at the provocations that produced them" is not only morally misguided, but laughable."

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    elkwatch 6 years, 11 months ago

    reallocal- On March 21, you wrote,"But let me guess, you would rather write vicious e-mails and whine," which is interesting, considering some of the comments you have written. A few excerpts:

    "At this point, really, it's just like shooting D-fish in a barrel.
    Just a matter of time before he's dead in the water." "So post away, you moron, something needs to make me smile now the MTN is closed." "An inbred redheaded moron with a REALLY bad temper...and the super-human ability to hold grudges longer than any other human being on earth!" "And I agree, it's time to cut out the cancer-and I don't care how Denise and John feel." "...due to her total lack of independant thinking and eagerness to play the puppet to DeVincentis' strings. She was a mediocre teacher (which I can attest to personally), but has certainly not learned anything from her husband about civic responsibility." "yet you are still supporting a person who has proven themself to be not only unethical, immoral, and, frankly, arrogant, if not irresponsible and stupid." "...as a personal stepping stone to further his twisted agendas." "The bottom line is that teachers work for the taxpayers in the community, not for themselves. If you want a flexible schedule, start your own business. If you don't like it, I'm sure your new school district will be happy to listen to you whine about it. Or maybe not...those people probably have jobs too." "...because of the stupidity of the people who voted for certain board members who cannot allow someone to do their job."

    Other comments from you that just might be considered hypocritical:

    "What disturbs me more than anything on this forum is more that people cannot keep personal agendas off it." "I wouldn't last long in my job if all I had were passion." "Passion is a waste of time." "I have always believed people should be held responsible for their actions..."

    I guess that last one doesn't apply to Gleason, huh?

    You've said that you work 70 to 80 hours a week at two jobs. So how are you able to spend so much time on a computer posting comments? Self-employed? You post at all hours but mostly during regular working hours. Sounds like a great job.

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    steamboatsconscience 6 years, 11 months ago

    elkwatch That was me you quoted, thanks! Yes reallocal has a VERY personal agenda and it has affected her reasoning so much that she will contradict many things she has said. reallocal, why dont you just tell us why you hate John so much. It would explain a lot.

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    reallocal 6 years, 11 months ago

    Elk-I admit, I have not always been the person I should be when posting on this forum. I would also point out that taking most of these out of context (and without the ability for anyone to verify them) is the same problem that most people have with the emails' published in the paper. So I apologize for any inappropriate comments I have made, and I have made every attempt to make my posts reasonable and logical expainations of my viewpoint recently. As to my comment "I have always believed people should be held responsible for their actions..." I also believe Gleason has held himself accountable for his actions. He has admitted he was the source, how much more accountable do you want? I think that if there were a chance of criminal charges being filed, the DA's office would want to head the investigation rather than allowing a private lawyer to head this up. Heck, after the year the DA's had, a high-profile criminal case with an obvious, admitted culprit would be a godsend, don't you think? The only reasons I can think are that either the BOE has not contacted the DA about investigating this matter or that there is no evidence to support a criminal case. As to my jobs, yes, they are great, thanks!

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    Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 11 months ago

    Reallocal- See? Even inadvertently, written words can be taken out of context. To me, I was trying to say, "was picked over the people on the list given to the Board." You're now helping me prove my long-ago original point. Thanks!

    Dreamriver23- In another article when Pat Gleason outted himself as the "leak," he stated:

    "The School Board has access to all records at all times," is a quote John DeVincentis has used numerous times during his tenure on our School Board. Shortly after DeVincentis left the employ of the School District, as a board member at that time, I had access to the controversial e-mails, as well as other board members. I delivered a copy of John's e-mails to the Pilot & Today, knowing they were of public interest. Should I have released them sooner? In retrospect, maybe I should have. But, I opted not to at that time because DeVincentis had just gone through a "difficult" situation with the former superintendent and begun his private life after many years of contributing to the excellence of Strawberry Park Elementary School, its support staff and remarkable (award-winning) teachers. I had hoped his experience would be beneficial to the district."

    www2.steamboatpilot.com/news/2007/apr/19/pat_gleasons_statement/

    This statement in itself tells us he knew exactly what was on those emails 2 years ago.

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    Magpie 6 years, 11 months ago

    It is that statement, Matt, that has always confused me. It says that Pat had the emails prior to John D running for School Board. It was clear during the end of John D's tenure as principal that Pat didn't like or respect him very much.

    So, why didn't Pat leak the emails during John D's school board campaign? That is what I don't get. That actually seems like the relevant time to give those emails to the paper. Had he done that, then either John D would not have been elected, or he would have been elected by the public who had read those emails and the current recall would be unnecessary.

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    reallocal 6 years, 11 months ago

    Also, Elk, thanks for joining just today just to post those two comments. I bet you'd have quite a fair number of comments if you posted under the same name rather than a bunch of different ones to make your viewpoint look like the majority. The "more the merrier" is not referring to usernames...

    Magpie, if Pat had leaked the emails during the election, it would have been unfair to John. Gleason gave DeVincentis a chance to prove he had changed. He hasn't. In order to limit the damage he can do to our district, Gleason decided to come forward.

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    Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 11 months ago

    Reallocal- As far as we know from what Pat's "official" statement says, it doesn't look like Gleason ever approached D to let him know about the emails. At least, Gleason has not made any other statement to say he did confront D.

    So, he just sat on them based on the reasoning that I stated above. Gleason has not given a reason that echoes your assumption. You have to let the person know you're giving them a second chance in order to have the person in question make use of the second chance. Otherwise, you are setting up someone purposely to fail.

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    Magpie 6 years, 11 months ago

    Reallocal - unfair to John? I don't get it. The recall and all this hoopla is asking us to take John off the board becuase someone who writes emails like this doesn't belong on the board and there have been many postings expressing this same thought. Well, that was exactly the case when John ran as now. If Pat wants to recall John because of his actions as a board member, then this emails are irrelevant as they were not written by John as a board member and the hoopla and recall should be solely about his actions on the board. For these emails to be relevant, they speak to John's character as based on his past actions, which is exactly what we elect people based on and should have been disclosed during the election.

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    reallocal 6 years, 11 months ago

    Matt-just wondering about the quotations. Why isn't it official? Gleason addresses your question in the same passage you quoted above. He hoped that DeVincentis would bring a level of experience to the board that would prove valuable to the district. And I'm not sure that someone put in a position of public trust necessarily deserves a second chance, and less sure that that person needs to be put on official notice as to their probationary status. DeVincentis set himself up to fail. I find it hard to believe that such a logical man as yourself can be attempting to hold everyone except DeVincentis responsible for his subsequent fall from grace.

    Mag, I agree that the emails would have been relevent during the election. For one moment, let's pretend that Gleason released them prior to DeVincentis' election to the board. Would he have been elected anyway? Probably not. What impression of the board would that have given? Probably one that the board was unwilling to cooperate with people formerly percieved as hostile, and this would have been perpetuating the old rift between the board and DeVincentis. It is entirely possible that Gleason thought it was in the best interest of the district to close this divide and allow the board to focus on what was, and still should be, the top priority: the education of the community's children. DeVincentis' behavior over the past two years has made it clear that he did not feel this way, however, and Gleason felt that it was not likely to change. To protect the district from further damage from DeVincentis, Gleason obviously felt he had to do something. This was the fairest thing that he could have done. I know I will instantly get several responses that releasing them to the public was not the right thing to do. Would you rather Gleason approached DeVincentis and blackmailed him privately with the emails, even if the intent was just to get DeVincentis to act in a manner appropriate to his elected position? As a taxpaying constituant, I wouldn't.

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    JQPUBLIC 6 years, 11 months ago

    kielbasa...."You have to let the person know you're giving them a second chance in order to have the person in question make use of the second chance. Otherwise, you are setting up someone purposely to fail."... give me a break.... either a person has changed or he hasn't and if he hasn't all you're going to do is warn him that he's being watched. If he truly has changed, why would he fail?

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    Sunspot 6 years, 11 months ago

    Reallocal,

    I sure hope you are not planning to run for public office someday, your anonymous blog postings could catch up to you too.

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    Magpie 6 years, 11 months ago

    Real - you ask "Would you rather Gleason approached DeVincentis and blackmailed him privately with the emails, even if the intent was just to get DeVincentis to act in a manner appropriate to his elected position?"

    Nope, I would rather that Pat attacked John for what John has done (or not done) in his 2 years on the board or used the emails during John's campaign to show the constituents evidence that John's character is not appropriate for the school board.

    To withhold this information hoping that John had changed and then disclose only it as the way of removing John is what I find disingenuous. He doesn't think that John is acting as a good and responsible school board member, then give us evidence of that (and there is public record of John saying negative things about Donna and other acts that Pat could have cited) not bring up these old emails as proof that his character does not belong on the school board.

    I had dealings with John when he was a principal and observed him at school board meetings (as a principal). Some of them were unpleasant to watch or be part of. I weighed this when I decided whether to vote for him for school board. Had I known about the emails during the campaign, I would have added that information when making my decision. Knowing it now, honestly, I was not completely surprised that he was capable of it from what I had seen before but I thought his principal experience could benefit the school board. So, now what I need to know is how I (and Pat) were wrong about that. He knew more than I did and gave John and chance to use his experience on the board. Just knowing about the emails doesn't negate that, apparently. So, Pat should be focusing on what made John such a bad school board member. I saw/read some negative, some positive about him as a school board member.

    So, no, I don't think Pat ever needed to tell John that he had the emails but I just think he missed the appropriate time to release them and they are no longer very relevant, John's current behavior as a school board member is much more relevant.

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    jamesbrownbridgeogre 6 years, 11 months ago

    What a joke! Can someone explain why the Board has not used their policy governance to address all of the issues and act appropriately instead of this recall effort?

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    reallocal 6 years, 11 months ago

    I've said it before, I'll say it again: If you don't want to recall DeVincentis based on the emails, recall him based on his other violations of board policies as well as his overall attitude toward the district. Mag, unfortunately, not enough people are really involved enough with our district to be able to make up their own minds about DeVincentis' actions (sad, but true). These emails served as a wake-up call to the part of the community that is not aware of DeVincentis' more recent behavior. Hopefully, when people decide to vote in November, they will have reexamined their own attitudes toward electing officials, look at DeVincentis' behavior, and then make up their minds. I agree that John's behavior on the school board has been much more relevant. My question to you, Mag, is how would you spur a public that is largely uninterested or underinformed about his recent behaviors into necessary action without a catalyst? And if you think a catalyst for this change would have been necessary, what would you have done?

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    blahblah 6 years, 11 months ago

    Everyone seems to be operating under the assumption that Gleason has had the emails for two years, but we don't know that for certain. That is why an internal investigation is necessary. He may have recently acquired them and may have had assistance to do so.

    There is a lot of scheming going on. Those spearheading the recall have an agenda, I believe, that goes well beyond replacing a board member. I wouldn't be suprised to see that they have a slate of candidates waiting to run and not of the impartial, fair-minded variety that they speak of in the recall petition. Monitor their agenda closely!

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    reallocal 6 years, 11 months ago

    Read Gleason's statement, blahblah. He admits he has.

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    Magpie 6 years, 11 months ago

    Real - that is an "ends justifies the means" argument and I just don't support that way of acting.

    The public is never involved enough. We get involved when an issue is important to us and expect our elected representatives to govern well for all the rest of the issues. That is why it is so important to know who these people are and what they stand for when we elect them.

    The public will judge the school board by the outcomes. When the mediator had to be brought in and then even a day with the mediator didn't get results, that got a lot of public interest. That the board cannot work with the superintendent is a problem that the public will and has taken notice of. If this is becuase of John, then go after him for that and ensure, at least, that he doesn't get re-elected.- or at most that he gets recalled based on the facts of his school board service.

    What you are saying is that Pat (et al) believe that John is doing such a bad job on the school board that he needs to be remove but that the public is too uninterested and/or too stupid to understand what a bad job he is doing, so any means to get the public to remove John is acceptable.

    John was a public Steamboat figure for a long time. I am sure that many of the people who voted for him knew that he could be volatile and that it was not a black or white thing that he was right for the school board but very much shades of gray with him. Again, the emails speak to that and would have been helpful when deciding to elect, but they don't tell me anything about his behavior as a school board member.

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    another_local 6 years, 11 months ago

    "pull the person aside and let him know about the information and suggest he resign would be my second choice; and presenting it to an interested third party such as the board president and having them suggest that action be taken would be my third choice. The last thing I would ever consider is taking it public without speaking to the concerned parties first."

    According to what I have heard, that is exactly the sequence that occured.

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    reallocal 6 years, 11 months ago

    Mag, Gleason has been a public figure for much longer than DeVincentis, and many people who formarly supported him have admitted their error and made a move to correct it. Morally and ethically, the ends may not justify the means in fairy tales and reasonable situations (which this may or probably isn't), but, in the public's view, this is often the be all end all. Reality may suck, but it's true. I've already said (a month ago) that this was a(n) (ends justifies the means) piece of our local pie. I can think of a few federal, state, and county occasions where this has been warrented. Unfortunately, this is an ends justifies the means situation on the local level if only due to the attention that this has caused the public to question DeVincentis' behavior, and ultimately, his suitability to serve in the public's interest in a position of public trust. As much as many think that this action is not where we want it to be, but rather where we, as a concerned public have been forced, it still serves the best interests of the public, the district, and ultimately, our students. Mag, would you rather a person violates ethical conduct (which I'm not sure anyone did) or confuses the future of the board with the future of BOE members? I'd rather violate the "public open records policy" far before I'd let DeVincentis run my district, especially considering his recent behavior as a board member.

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    Scott Wedel 6 years, 11 months ago

    The previous school board got the emails shortly after Dr D retired. Pat Gleason publicly acknowledged that. And the school district administration would have records of providing info to members of that school board.

    So yes, the emails were known by some while Dr D was running for school board. And Dr D ran despite knowing that others knew about these emails. Though, nothing has been said regarding whether Dr D was told exactly which emails they had.

    When Dr D as school board member started playing the political game that he outlined in his emails on how to run the School Superintendent out of her job then the emails became far more significant. Pat Gleason obviously felt he could no longer keep the secret so he released them and he knew that was violating district policy so he resigned from the school board.

    The "facts" regarding acquiring the emails (left of his work computer after he resigned) and how Pat Gleason received them (as a school board member) are not in dispute. All that is left for the investigator is to determine are the legal options available to the current school board.

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    Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 11 months ago

    Wedel- Just wondering where you got the supposition that D "ran despite knowing that others knew about these emails"? In nobody's printed statement in any of all this has anyone said they confronted D about finding the emails. He might assume they'd know, but most likely only if he was told. If he was to automatically assume they'd be read by Board members, you'd think (most would think) that he'd have the wherewithal to not use the school computer. I have not seen anywhere in any story saying someone confronted D with any knowledge of emails. If this stuff has been printed, please show me where. Right now, since old Board members aren't talking, Gleason is the only one to acknowledge seeing those emails.

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    Sunnydays 6 years, 11 months ago

    Another Local,

    You state Pat spoke with both John, showed him the e-mails and asked him to resign and then to Denise before he went to the press, yet Denise, when Pat resigned, had no knowledge of why he resigned and said that she had hoped he could be a middle person between the board and Donna to help resolve their differences. Where did you get your information and where was this written in the newspaper. If true, I believe it is important.

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