District 51 School Board Members To Hire Outside Law Firm

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) – Emails between members of School Board D51 and the Miller Farmer law firm began in early December. Conversations included drafting a new contract to represent the school board.

The trap ? It all started as an added element to the first business meeting, a conversation that left out two board members, parents and the community.

Jeffrey Roberts of the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition says, “When you suddenly have a request for proposal for a new legal counsel. Where does this come from? This is something that a board of directors should tackle as a board of directors and have a meeting about it that the public has a right to observe. “

Public input is protected by the Open Meetings Act through the Colorado Freedom of Information Act Coalition. Spokesman Jeffrey Roberts said, “Public policy, the formation of public policy in Colorado is public business and should not be done in secret, it is the first thing the law says.”

There are some exceptions to the law, but it must be a business that is licensed.

While Superintendent Diana Sirko accepted the proposal, on the morning of the meeting, she also shared serious concerns.

The question many are asking is why should this top law firm oust the current in-house counsel for the district, John Williams?

Contract approval was on hold, but new members of the board recently changed course and said they would accept local contract offers, possibly to stave off a legal challenge.

Roberts also said that “the way to challenge a possible violation of the open assemblies law would be for someone to take it to court.”

Something, according to Roberts, would be left to members of the community.


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