Judge rules JE's interim superintendent appointment void

"They say nothing hoping it will go away," he said. "And then all this happens and I get suspended."

During the trial, the defense stated that Zehner's petition to nullify the appointment of Gorton was premature. Superintendent Marilyn Dominick, School Board President

Mary Alley and Gorton all provided affidavits denying any formal appointment being made.

"Our public relations got out in front of the board business that we needed to do," Alley said on Friday.

The defense also stated that while the interim superintendent position was talked about in executive session, no vote was made.

The judge's ruling suggests that the decision making process was not public enough.

"The act of discussing and coming to a consensus in executive session, but not passing a formal resolution, does not shield the board from a violation of law," the ruling reads. "The Open Meetings Law was designed to assure the public's right to be informed and it is the entire decision making process which the legislature intended to affect by the statute, not only formal acts of voting or formal executions of documents."

Judge Greenwood denied Zehner's request to have his legal fees paid by the district, but not without sympathy.

"This court agrees with [Zehner} that he should not have been required to go to court to enforce the law and that he is now further aggrieved by incurring attorney's fees," the ruling reads, citing the high bar in place for the recovery of fees.

The board will vote publicly on whether to hire Gordon as Interim Superintendent during its Oct. 6 board meeting. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. and has been moved from the JE High School library to the auditorium to accommodate what is expected be a very large turnout.

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