I often don’t explain to my wife what I’m up to. I’m the only member of my immediate family that cares about this fight. So, on days like this when I get to observe her reactions to the news I can judge how others are taking it in. Judging by her impressions tonight I’ve got my work cut out for me.
Her main impression: My attorney (the taxpayer’s attorney) Craig Hunter is ethically challenged. He made a mistake. I’m not even sure his first client Gary Glass fully understands the nature of the ethical issue. I’m not sure I do for that matter. Judging by the conference in Judge Hylden’s chamber’s today the School District’s attorneys maintain that our attorney had no right to represent Gary Glass. I was taken aback by the implications of the arguments they made in Judge Hylden’s Chambers. Gary Glass is a member of the School Board. (True enough) As such he is represented by the School District’s attorneys. (True enough) Since he is represented by the School District’s attorneys – the same attorneys who demanded personal email from me having absolutely nothing to do with the issues in the taxpayer’s case but which were obviously a fishing expedition to find something incriminating that could be hurled at Gary Glass to embarrass him and give his fellow school board members some rationale to remove him from the school board. . . . . . Yes, Since he was represented by these school board attorneys, so their argument goes, he has no right to have his own attorney to consult if he feels his rights as a school board member have been violated. He must simply endure or ask the attorneys for the School District for their permission to consult an attorney who might challenge their paymaster the School Board.
But as asinine as this legal reasoning is, taken to its logical limit it is based on actual rules that the tax payer’s attorney was not aware of. There is one clear example where it could have come into effect. If the School District’s attorneys representing the entire school board including Gary Glass had given the District privileged information concerning some legal issue it would have been ethically unsound for this information to be delivered into the hands of another attorney to use against the District.
In Chambers, the District’s attorney, Ms. Torgerson, strenuously argued that while she never ever gave Gary Glass any such information the simple fact that he is a prisoner to her potential legal representation prevented him from seeking outside legal advice. Try telling such a thing to a City Councilor or a state legislator or a Congressman. Election to a public body deprives you of speaking to your own legal counsel if you don’t like the conduct you are witnessing in the public body. This vile argument would suit the purposes of the majority of the School Board very well. Having watched their behavior over the past year and a half I have no doubt they were about to use it to censure or remove Gary Glass from the School Board. What is their record?
1. Just after Gary was elected in November of 2007 they hired a consultant for $70,000 for team building. This consultant told the Board that they had the statutory right to remove a fellow school board on what amounted to the most vague grounds possible.
2. When fellow Board member Mary Cameron grew tired of Gary Glass asking questions in school board meetings she said that she wished the Board could remove him.
3. For Gary’s tenure on the school board he has repeatedly been denied access to public data the basis for his supposed unethical meetings with his own private attorney.
4. The School District’s attorneys sought evidence having nothing to do with the issues before the court specifically singling out Gary Glass in a demand for his personal email correspondence for which there was little justification.
5. Just before a closed school board meeting to discuss an “emergency” the District’s attorney rudely answered member Glass’s quite legitimate questions about why the regular three day notice for a meeting was not adhered to. The answer from Ms. Torgerson dripped with contempt and amounted to little more than “because I’m an attorney and I say its an emergency.”
6. After the meeting Ms. Torgerson had a quickie press conference to tell the local media that she had never seen such correspondence in her life as the emails Gary had sent. (and I’d never seen such a performance by an attorney to impeach the character of a minority school board member) While saying she would not advise the School Board about whether it had the power to penalize member Glass she sure sounded like me to be giving the Board the Green light to do just that.
And I would add this. I’ve never seen a more ruthless, win at all costs, school administration in my life. It is not above deception, lies, and threat to accomplish what it wants. It is beneath contempt.