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Legal Team States Evidence Is Insufficient To Remove Foote From School Board

January 22nd, 2019 by WCBC Radio

A legal opinion rendered by the new counsel for the Allegany County Board of Education has been posted online.

The document was generated by the law firm of Geppert, McMullen, Paye and Getty, and deals with the actions of the previous school board to ask the state board of education remove Wayne Foote for a number of reasons.

The lengthy document reviews the law and cites several cases in which the state board had been asked to remove members of school boards in other counties in the state.

The resolution to remove Foote consists of ten documents, including an unsigned letter to the local board providing details regarding the allegations against Foote; a letter from the ACPS Ethics Panel; three letters from former board President Sara Beth Bittinger and Vice President Tammy Fraley, admonishing Foote.  Four are copies of board policies and the last is the resolution for removal.

Our summary of the description of the state’s role is that it relies on probable cause to determine if there are reasonable grounds to proceed with removal.  There are also requirements of factual and legal sufficiency in proceeding with the allegations.

Foote has been alleged to have made inappropriate remarks to a staff member of a school that has been blacked out in the correspondence, and is then said to have made comments which could be interpreted to be threatening.  He’s also been taken to task for revealing information from executive sessions, although there is a cited Attorney General’s opinion that state law does not impose a duty on board members to maintain the confidentiality of executive sessions.

As for the allegation of harassment and intimidation, the law firm notes that it has contacted both Superintendent Dr David Cox and Chief Administrative Officer Jeff Blank, and neither had received a complaint from any employee regarding Foote referenced in the December letter from board leadership.

Foote had not received any notification from the State Board of Education as of a week ago.   

5 Responses to “Legal Team States Evidence Is Insufficient To Remove Foote From School Board”

  1. January 22, 2019 at 12:50 pm, j.r. lepley said:

    I think if I was ‘amigo’ foot .I would just resign and save myself any further embarrassment for a job that causes him so many problems .maybe with some proper training he would better,maybe he should stay home in his DREAM house and practice his people skill s!!

    Reply

    • January 22, 2019 at 10:20 pm, jackblack said:

      > maybe you should not be so loose tongued with probable cause character assassination.ABSOLUTE!

      Reply

      • January 23, 2019 at 2:41 am, j.r. lepley said:

        > when you try to be helpful,and get negative comments like this!!!!!!!!!!!

        Reply

  2. January 22, 2019 at 5:07 pm, Rob Connor said:

    Mr. Foote should stand his ground. The “Old Guard” that liked having things veiled in secrecy are trying to get rid of him in hopes of replacing him with one of their own. They don’t link the transparency that the new members are trying to achieve.

    Reply

  3. January 22, 2019 at 9:26 pm, John Kues said:

    It is highly out of the norm for legal counsel to render an opinion prior to a hearing and not having all of the facts in the case. I think the firm is going to be significantly embarrassed when all of the smoke settles. It looks as though the firm is bias and trying to sway public opinion on the case prior to a decision by the State board. They should be objective until the case is heard and not playing politics.. this makes them look corrupt.

    Reply

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