The upcoming firing of Superintendent Rhonda A Corr from Dayton Public Schools for cause will undoubtedly bring a whole host of other issues, lawsuits, and claims against the district.
The crisis management skills of Interim Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli will be tested daily. When Corr claimed she had no idea of why she was placed on leave, the district should have responded that day with “Rhonda Corr and her attorney’s were informed of the basis of her dismissal for cause, but have not been given the final document. For her to say that she has no idea is just one more indication of her unsuitability to lead our district and her denial of facts and the bending of truth. Our community deserves better.”
That didn’t happen. But, what can you expect from an interim Superintendent on her second day on the job?
What really needs to be examined is how did we get here?
And that starts with the school board who didn’t renew Superintendent Lori Ward’s contract, dismissed treasurer Craig Jones and passed over internal candidate David Lawrence who was later paid to go away.
This is what happens when you let a fox run the hen house.
The fox, was the carpetbagger board member Dr. Adil Baguirov, who ran un-opposed and uninvestigated supposedly at the prompting of existing board member Joe Lacey.
Baguirov’s background has him tied to international lobbyists who were under constant investigation for influence peddling and bending the rules. Much the same thing that he did while on the board. The other 6 board members allowed him to bully them constantly and most of the time, he had his way. This board was complicit in every mistake Rhonda Corr made, mostly because her main supporter, Baguirov was using her as a smokescreen for his own questionable behavior on deals like the sale of Patterson Co-op property to CareSource where he had a conflict of interest and the purchasing of the buses with a 10 year warranty (when the buses are projected to have a 7 year life span). Much of this has been covered previously, but the key questions remaining was why the board, the superintendent and others failed to act when his residency issue was brought up first on April 5, 2017 and then again on election day Nov. 7 2017.
It is clear that he was the key force behind the re-write of Ms. Corr’s annual performance review- where the board was goaded into changing the original responses to glowing because of the optics of a less than stellar review would fit with the awarding of her 3 year contract.
That Board President Reverend Doctor Robert Walker (the title BS has to stop) agreed to sign both the re-written performance review and the complaint against Corr, says he is as criminally complicit in Corr’s failings as she is, and he should resign immediately.
Other questions that remain is how Corr convinced the board to buy out David Lawrence, in light of the investigation of racial bias brought forward by Dr. Markay Winston. While the investigation didn’t find anything substantially wrong with Corr’s behavior to Winston based on race- it did showcase complete and total insanity in operational functionality by the district leadership under Corr with the oversight of this board. If anything, the charges against Corr, which go entirely against what the boards final performance review said, should be grounds for their termination for cause.
There are still questions about the ousting of Charity Early Principal Peggy Burks, the hiring of Dr. Donetrus Hill at Meadowdale (another risky hire), the rushed contract for athletic director Mark Baker and a host of other questionable actions that were all done with board consent.
The only real option to move past this crisis is to have the remaining board members who are leaving, resign immediately, and the remaining three- submit their resignations to the newly elected board for them to choose whether to allow them to continue to serve.
An independent review panel should be put in place to evaluate every decision made by Corr and signed off on by the board over the course of her tenure, to evaluate processes and procedures that should have been in place or that weren’t followed so as to rebuild trust and integrity into a system that has lost all credibility after this debacle.
This could become a case study for rebuilding a district with best practices in HR, policy and procedure- or it could turn into a nasty web of lawsuits that never end.
The lynch pin in all of this is Baguirov. If Corr pursues a legal defense instead of going away quietly, there will be epic legal bills and a treasure trove of testimony via deposition that will peel back the cloak of confusion that has run amok in DPS for the last few decades.
Word is Rhonda Corr is planning a press conference this morning with her attorneys. Another bad move.
But what would one expect?