Post Bulletin coverage of Open Meeting Violations

Thank you to members of the local media who are taking their role as the 4th Estate seriously. Here is some solid work by Randy Petersen of the Rochester Post Bulletin: When did the Rochester School Board know about proposed land donation? I expect members of local media will continue investigate the School District until definitive answers are known to all 6 items from the draft Data Request I made available.

While I’m turning down interview requests with news organizations who are not currently investigating school misconduct, I will offer the following statement:

When public bodies engage in misconduct we all have a moral obligation to stand up for justice.

The latest information further confirms that the Superintendent Munoz withheld an offer of significant free land from the public, City, and School Board members for 3 months. Munoz appears to have only informed the board after I personally alerted some school board members.

Claims by some School Board members that racial equity, infrastructure, and transportation costs were considered in rejecting the site also appear to be false. There is no data or discussion to support this claim.

Numerous violations of Minnesota Statute 13D “the Open Meetings law” have occurred. I applaud School District staff for already identifying some of their violations and taking corrective action. I encourage School Board members to speak honestly about the laws that have been broken and about how long the Superintendent hid important information.

It remains illegal in the state of Minnesota to discuss properties in closed meetings except in very limited circumstances that appear not to have been met. It remains illegal to discuss additional topics apart from what a meeting is lawfully closed for. It remains illegal to take board actions outside of public meetings.

It was suggested to me that the School District is still not releasing improperly closed meeting audio from 4Q 2019.

Councilmember Michael Wojcik

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