Is the Fox Guarding the Henhouse?

Board meeting addresses D46 handling of charges.

Is asking three Grayslake school board members and Superintendent Ellen Correll to review and discuss allegations against themselves like asking the fox to guard the henhouse?

That’s the question board members Michael Carbone and Shannon Smigielski asked at last week’s board meeting and which led to Tuesday's Special board meeting. 

Board member Sue Facklam has been accused of giving gift cards to 18 years to encourage them to vote.  Fellow board members Karen Weinert and Ray Millington are implicated on separate issues in a series of e-mails recently released in a FOIA request.

The meeting was also held to discuss why an outside mediator was hired by the district to review the charges of school code violations and unethical behavior that stemmed from the recent school board elections. The same mediator is also assessing the charges made against Correll.

"There is a uniform grievance procedure with two complaint managers for matters such as these," said District 46 attorney Kevin Gordon. "One manager is Ellen and the other was the district's former business manager. Because it would not be appropriate for Ellen to manage, the regulation is that another qualified complaint manager be hired."

That complaint manager is Richard Mittelman, an attorney from Libertyville with 25 years of experience and no ties to the Grayslake community or school district, according to Gordon.

The charges have also been filed with the Lake County State's Attorney's office. Board member Carbone had asked last week why the district had not let the State's Attorney's office handle it without hiring a mediator at $250 per hour.

"The board has an obligation to investigate the charges on their own, even if the state is involved," said Gordon. "The policy reads 'If the board determines that the violations are also against the law it can refer them to the State's attorney.'"

Newly selected board president Ray Millington said that he had spoken to Lake County State's Attorney Mike Waller.

"He said it is not in their jurisdiction to handle ethics complaints," Millington said.

On Tuesday, Chief Deputy State's Attorney Dan Jasica told Patch, "We are still reviewing the paperwork. Should we choose to investigate we will then determine if further action is warranted. District 46 has its own governing board at the local government level and this may end up being handled as a local ethics ordinance violation."

"Then should we discuss the charges as a board tonight?" said Keith Surroz, vice president of the D46 school board.

“Typically that kind of discussion would be done in closed session," Gordon said.

After a brief discussion, the board moved into closed session to review the charges.

In contrast to last week's raucous board meeting, a lone community member chose to speak out at Tuesday's sparsely attended meeting.

"While I believe in anyone's right to civil discourse, there is a moral and dignified way to do that," said Grayslake resident and D46 parent David Shriberg. "The low road was taken last week and it reflected very poorly on our community. I believe in holding the administration accountable, but I also believe we need to hold each other accountable for our own behavior. If you value education, people from all perspectives need to step up and say "stop" to the heckling and shouting and stand up for the value of public discussion."

The next school board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, May 18 at Meadowview School.

Sully May 17, 2011 at 05:19 PM
Doing my best to expose these people for who they really are. Now, for the 889th time, the board members were in the wrong. If findings go against Facklam (Garcia is already gone), she should step down. I'm not sure what Correll's exact role was, but she will most likely be gone anyway, sooner rather than later. I just hope the new board doesn't hire some tea party stooge.
Sully May 18, 2011 at 12:19 AM
For Lennie, LMJ, and Andrea- it appears your tea party agenda is not so hot. Get it? Clear thinking Americans are on to you and fed up. It's happening all across the "heartland" too - recalls coming in Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Palin's continuing decline, more people learning about the real Michele Bachmann. It's just a matter of time. http://thinkprogress.org/2011/05/16/michigan-poll-corporate-tax-cut-labor/
Tom Willis May 18, 2011 at 01:42 AM
No, Tony, you will have to use yours. I used mine for teacher gifts. Sorry. Amen to that Sullivan!! Things are looking ugly for the party. Guess all the theatrics and costumes didn't help them. Oh well. Things are not always as they seem.
Sully May 18, 2011 at 02:04 AM
Here's an example of what Lennie's party is doing or wants to do in Florida under tea party governor Rick Scott (the previous CEO of health care conglomerate Columbia/HCA, where he presided over massive Medicare fraud that cost his corporation a $1.7 billion federal fine and cost him his job, but not his huge monetary gains)- -Demoralized Florida teachers (already among the lowest paid in the country) by moving a bill requiring each of them to reapply for their job every year, with renewal of their contract dependent on how their students perform on a single standardized test. The bill will force more teaching-to-the-test and less classroom innovation, setting up even good teachers for failure and making the profession less desirable. In addition, Scott is a 'don't-tax-the-rich' zealot, so the state's budget deficit is to be substantially narrowed by firing teachers and increasing the workloads of those who remain.
Sully May 18, 2011 at 02:06 AM
Continued- -Depressed (both economically and psychologically) Florida's hard-hit workforce by pushing legislation to cut jobless payments. With 11.5 percent unemployment, and with some of the most miserly unemployment benefits in the country, Scott is slashing the number of weeks that out-of-work Floridians can get jobless aid to as low as 12 weeks, rather than the standard 26. To add to his Scrooginess, his proposal also makes it easier for a corporation to fire employees, making workers ineligible for any unemployment assistance. As the house sponsor of Scott's bill explained, "Businesses need the state's help." -Worked diligently to help one business in particular: his own. After being dumped by Columbia/HCA, Scott set up Solantic, a Florida chain of emergency care clinics. As guv, he is working to privatize Medicaid, which would create a huge statewide customer base of poor people for a certain chain of clinics tied directly to Scott (lest you think this is self-serving, the governor made a point of divesting his interest in Solantic just before taking office -- he transferred ownership to his wife, literally putting his interest at arms length! This was so stinky that he later was forced to sell it).
Tom Willis May 18, 2011 at 02:10 AM
Are you sure about this Sullivan??? I mean...gasp...the party wouldn't do THAT now would they??? HOW AWFUL! And talk about corruption. THAT is true corruption. Not little town stuff. Well now...
Sully May 18, 2011 at 02:10 AM
Continued- -Issued an executive order requiring drug tests on thousands of state workers and every future applicant for state jobs. He's also pressing the legislature to mandate drug tests for all the hard-luck Floridians who apply for welfare benefits. Welcome to Rick Scott's Florida -- please pee to prove your innocence! Now, guess which corporation is in the drug-testing business? Yes, Solantic. -Catered to the rich. He has proposed massive tax cuts to corporations and millionaires, even as he wants to whack state education spending by 10 percent and taken an average of $2,300 a year out of each teacher's paycheck. Moreover, in a perfect snapshot of his class-based values, Scott has tried to eliminate state spending on two historically black universities, while trying to funnel taxpayer dollars into the construction of golf courses in state parks. This is what Lennie and his pals really stand for, and poor Lennie probably doesn't even know it. He's a stooge.
Tom Willis May 18, 2011 at 02:12 AM
I say we go to the meeting and bring THAT up!! That is enough to catapult them right out of the country wouldn't you say?
Sully May 18, 2011 at 02:15 AM
Yep. Hate to break it to ya, but it seems there's some unethical behavior goin on. I think Lennie should get on the next flight to Florida and check this stuff out. I'm sure his investigative services would be much appreciated.
Sully May 18, 2011 at 02:20 AM
Irrelevant nonsense? Surely if one is outraged over the unethical behavior of a local school board, then one should be doubly outraged over the behavior of the head of a state! Of course it's off topic. The point is the hypocricy of Lennie and his gang. Lennie couldn't care less about the education of D46 students.
Sully May 18, 2011 at 02:22 AM
Don't forget to thank Carbone!
Sully May 18, 2011 at 02:28 AM
Who is Lennie, and who is Carbone? Do you really think Lennie did all of this on his own initiative? And you may want to check on Lennie's activities as head of the Lake County tea party. You are sadly mistaken if you think there's no connection.
Tom Willis May 18, 2011 at 02:34 AM
I didn't know that you were in charge of this board, Tony. We can connect the dots anywhere we choose. You are sadly mistaken if you think that this is JUST about the school board! The issues with the school board are just a drop in the bucket compared to what is going on in the big picture. And you know it. You can't be that ignorant. We will continue to talk about the BIG PICTURE as it is about corruption. BIG TIME CORRUPTION. The dots are connected and they lead to the end.
Sully May 18, 2011 at 02:40 AM
The matters are being investigated, Tony. It doesn't matter though, because Lennie and his sheep will continue their witchhunt until they get their particular (and unwanted) agenda. If they can't get what they want in Grayslake, they'll go after another district and another and another.
Tom Willis May 18, 2011 at 02:43 AM
Keep talking Tony. You are showing more and more of your true intentions. Only you would think of connecting "teacher gift cards" and Garcia gift cards. Interesting. It IS the end of the school year but then tea partiers could care less about children's education and the end of the school year right? A month from now, we will still be talking about you and your party. You want to hide the big picture. It might mean that YOU are part of the BIG CORRUPTION going on in the USA right now. Corruption that is beyond words. Keep hiding Tony. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know what you are all about.
Sully May 18, 2011 at 02:47 AM
No Tony. Unwanted by those who believe in factual, free, and appropriate education for all.
Sully May 18, 2011 at 02:50 AM
Unwanted by those who know the children are the future and who have the foresight to understand the importance of their education. Unwanted by those who believe individuals are more important than the profit corporations make off of their workers backs.
Sully May 18, 2011 at 09:38 AM
Tony, if you are really so dense that you can't figure this out, then shame on you. My guess is you are being purposefully obtuse and narrow-minded. Either that or you're a victim of arrested development, stuck at an age where you can't see past what you'll be having for lunch today.
Sully May 18, 2011 at 11:07 AM
I believe I have, too many times. If you're really unclear, you'll just have to read previous posts of mine.
Big picture fan May 18, 2011 at 11:30 AM
And your comments are? What a joke. Truly. No hackers here. Fear? Laughing at that one. YOU are trying to divert the attention away from yourself and the tea party which is the BIG PICTURE OF CORRUPTION. BIG!! You are but a minion in the big picture. You just think you are important. Your own party laughs at your theatrics. They shake their heads at what you have done in Grayslake. Tony means nothing. His words are just that. Words. We don't take him seriously at all.
Big picture fan May 18, 2011 at 11:33 AM
When Lennie answers D46parent's question, then others will answer your silly questions. He has refused to answer questions about his own actions. Again, YOU are just playing games. You mean nothing. Words. You are in a little box.
Big picture fan May 18, 2011 at 11:35 AM
You are hiding from yourself. You just think you are a part of a bigger picture. Sadly, it is merely a small box. You run around the little box every day. It is raining today. You may have to run alittle faster to keep yourself entertained.
Big picture fan May 18, 2011 at 12:09 PM
Entertain yourself away Tony. Next you will be talking about hot dogs and clowns.
Sully May 18, 2011 at 12:41 PM
Truth scares ya, doesn't it LMJ?
Sully May 18, 2011 at 12:43 PM
Sorry Tony. If you think Big Picture Fan is me, you're mistaken.
Sully May 18, 2011 at 06:15 PM
Sully May 18, 2011 at 07:14 PM
Okay, Dude. Whatever.
Big picture fan May 18, 2011 at 10:13 PM
I respect Sullivan, Carl, Lisa Bako and the many others who get the big picture. They are TRULY there for the education of the children in our school district. They are doing good for the community also. Thanks for making them stand out even moreso. They deserve awards to be honest. The community WILL move ahead for the good of the children. No doubt there. We will be more cautious in the future. And that is what should happen. You just don't throw out the baby with bath water. New and better ideas will take place. More positives for the future. The community now sees what the tea party is and how damaging they are to a great place like Grayslake. The tea partiers are minions. They are told to jump and they ask how high. The funny thing is that they mean nothing to the man in charge. He has all the money. They don't. He can live his life of luxury. They can't. Some of them are actually losing their homes. If he is all that powerful, then why isn't he handing out money to help them keep their homes. Bet he isn't worrying day and night about his family.
Servicecitizen May 20, 2011 at 10:12 PM
And we need THIS in our schools why? "After meeting with the former New Mexico Governor following a concert in his native Texas, Willie Nelson decided to give his Teapot Party's endorsement to Johnson, a longtime pot fan."
Sully May 20, 2011 at 10:59 PM
What's the connection between the two?


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