I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Monday, April 9, 2012

What Happens When the Lawyers Disagree?

Lawyers argue their side of things, oftentimes disagreeing--this is a normal thing.  But when the Superintendent's attorney and the School Board attorney disagree on an important matter up for Board action-- things can become interesting.

On the subject of Employee discipline recommendations, the superintendent's attorney, Joe Hammons, believes that the board can only accept or reject the superintendent's recommended punishment for employees.

While not advising that the board modify a superintendent's recommendation--School Board attorney Donna Waters, on the other hand, believes that the board can, in fact, modify a  discipline recommendation.

I understand that discipline recommendations are the purview of the Superintendent, and in the rare instances where I have disagreed with one of these recommendations (4 times total in 6 years), I have simply voted against a particular recommendation.

I  agree with our attorney in that  a fight with the superintendent over something of this nature would serve no good purpose, and would in all likelihood result in litigation--Board vs Superintendent.  I do, however, agree with Mrs. Waters' side of this argument--it is well researched, and she has reached out to several peers around the state to come up with her opinion and subsequent memo to the board.

Read Mr. Hammons' opinion here.

Read Mrs. Waters' opinion here

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