Board session being probed
Wyandotte County District Attorney Jerome Gorman has opened an informal inquiry into a complaint that the Bonner Springs-Edwardsville Board of Education violated the Kansas Open Meetings Act during its July 18 meeting.
At the meeting, board members met in executive session for the stated purpose of discussing matters pertaining to personnel matters of non-elected personnel. After the 10-minute session, members voted unanimously to appoint Jeff Barger to fill an open seat created by the death in April of Lewis Wood.
State law generally requires public boards meet in open session but allows members to meet behind closed doors for several specific instances, including to discuss non-elected personnel. Mike Merriam, a Topeka-based attorney with more than 30 years of experience in media law, said the law is clear, though: Filling a board vacancy is not a non-elected personnel matter.
The board’s actions prompted The Chieftain to ask Gorman’s office to investigate. Gorman, in a letter to the Chieftain, said he has started to look into the matter.