May 23, 2024

Saluti Law Medi

Rule it with System

Sumter University District amends Monday meeting agenda to get lawful tips on ‘pending claim’ from Martin-Knox, previous superintendent

In a improve to its conference agenda, Sumter University District’s Board of Trustees will receive authorized tips Monday on a pending claim on behalf of former superintendent Penelope Martin-Knox.

A district agent positioned an amended agenda on line on Saturday morning. The legal counsel will be presented and talked over during government session guiding shut doors Monday evening, and the college board attorney spoke briefly to The Sumter Merchandise on Saturday.

The certain statement added to the agenda less than govt session states “and receipt of legal tips regarding a pending assert on behalf of Dr. Martin-Knox.”

Dave Duff, of Columbia-primarily based Duff, Freeman and Lyon Attorneys at Legislation, has served as the school board’s legal professional considering that the evaluation procedure of the former superintendent commenced in late November.

He told The Item the pending claim on behalf of Martin-Knox came in late Friday and consequently was not on the first agenda posted Friday early morning but alternatively put on an amended agenda Saturday morning. Open conference rules demand agenda for general public meetings to be announced to the public and media 24 hours in progress.

Duff would not comment more but explained he has not spoken to the trustees on the issue still.

Past assembly agendas because January have claimed throughout govt session the comprehensive board would get “legal information relevant to a ‘potential claim’ or other matters coated by the legal professional-consumer relationship” and even more language at occasions.

Jay Bender, lawful counsel for the South Carolina Press Affiliation, explained the previous meeting statements ended up obscure, as if the board was hiding information and facts, but Saturday’s amended statement is particular.

“When you set the total alphabet out there, you never know no matter if they are chatting about A, B or Z,” he reported. “The agenda for Monday is particular and useful.”

Duff, the board legal professional, would not provide extra information on the character of the pending assert.

“You can study it for what it states,” he reported. “I feel I explained the mother nature of the assert. We have gotten actual specific, just like you requested. You can decide the word ‘pending’ any way you want.”

Bender mentioned it reads like a true claim on behalf of Martin-Knox.

Around the finish of the board’s most the latest on a regular basis scheduled assembly on Feb. 28, Trustee Daryl McGhaney lifted a shock movement to fork out Martin-Knox the remaining harmony of her agreement by means of June 30 and stroll away from her role, efficient immediately. By all obvious reasoning, McGhaney’s movement was not reviewed in the govt session that evening with Duff. It was not on the agenda nor talked about at all in open session.

Martin-Knox said at the time that she did not concur to people conditions.

Trustees voting in favor of the movement involved McGhaney, Frank Baker, Johnny Hilton, Matthew “Mac” McLeod and Sherril Ray. Those people from incorporated board Chairwoman Barbara Jackson, Brian Alston, Shawn Ragin and Gloria Lee.

Bender explained the motion, vote and ensuing action ended up illegal underneath the Independence of Information Act simply because they had been not shown on the conference agenda. The board and district have moved forward with earning Brenda Hafner guide administrator though the research for the district’s future superintendent continues. Hafner is chief of faculties, like an assistant superintendent.

Bender instructed The Sumter Product following the Feb. 28 vote the board correctly terminated Martin-Knox’s deal even however “termination” was not employed in the movement.

According to a copy of Martin-Knox’s contract acquired by The Product, termination by the board calls for 6 trustees’ votes. They ended up one vote shy.

There has due to the fact been no general public assertion or rationalization as to why Martin-Knox was explained to to go away early or questioned to not continue to be at all, in spite of recurring thoughts and official Independence of Information and facts Act requests from The Sumter Item. Martin-Knox and individuals voting in the minority have complied with those requests, but no a single in the voting majority has complied.

Monday’s assembly will start at 6 p.m. in the health club at Ebenezer Middle Faculty, 3440 Ebenezer Street, around the Dalzell area.

For those not physically attending Monday, the district proceeds to broadcast meetings reside on YouTube.

Anyone wanting to show up at the assembly practically can do so by way of YouTube Sumter School District Board Assembly and the district’s Facebook page, @SumterSCSchools.

The college board assembly marks the initial possibility for general public participation considering the fact that the trustees’ impromptu, split vote informed Martin-Knox to wander absent from her career 4 months early. The trustees will also examine the district’s mask mandate and probably vote on the subject, in accordance to the agenda.

It will also be the final time for the basic public to right address the complete board on district-huge rezoning of school attendance strains in advance of the trustees vote on the make a difference at the conclude of the thirty day period.

Continuing looking at for facts of what will be mentioned all through the conference: before-rezoning-vote-initial-likelihood-for-community,379612.