Based on the findings from Data Practice Act requests & the districts own acknowledgement of failure to comply with Minnesota Statute 13D Open Meetings Law; I request that Rochester School Board initiate an independent investigation into the actions of itself and its superintendent.
Those findings should then be made public, in full. In many states there is a state agency that oversees violations to these laws, but in Minnesota there really is no such body. While the public can document illegal activity pertaining to closed meetings that have been made public, we can not know what was illegally discussed at closed meetings throughout the Munoz tenure.
By now we all know that Rochester Schools Superintendent Michael Munoz is a serial plagiarizer. This has been well documented. This fact has lead to his resignation effective June 30th. Plagiarism is a serious offense in academia. The plagiarism is part of a larger pattern of dishonest and sometimes illegal behavior by Superintendent Munoz. I look forward to sharing much of these details in the coming weeks. I want to once again commend the courage of Melissa Amundson for being the only School Board Member to vote “no” to keeping Munoz around AFTER all of this happened.
Many of the illegal actions were also participated in by members of the 2019-2020 Rochester School Board. In talking with a number of school board members and reviewing audio it is my belief (but still warrants investigation) that the board members were likely not aware that they were breaking the law as frequently as they were. An exception to this was an illegal and deliberate serial meeting that was held in July. In that case Deb Seelinger, Jean Marvin and others deliberately created an illegal closed meeting to discuss official School District Business outside of a public meeting which is illegal.
Here are some highlights of what I learned through a number of Minnesota Data Practice Act Requests.
Superintendent Munoz received an offer of free land and hid it from the Public, School Board, and City of Rochester. This topic was not shared with the School Board until January 7, 2020 shortly after a whistle blower made me aware of the offer and I had subsequently informed 2 School Board Members and the City in late december. In short, he hid the information until after he got busted.
Superintendent Munoz, the School District, and the School Board held a number of illegal closed sessions without the presence of anyone with knowledge of Minnesota’s Open Meeting Laws. During those meetings Superintendent Munoz provided incorrect legal advice.
A quorum of the Rochester School Board engaged in an illegal serial meeting to draft, authorize and direct staff to send a letter critical of me. The letter was also sent to the press.
In addition to illegally closing meetings the School District and Board illegally discussed more than 30 topics not permitted by state statute in closed sessions.
The School District illegally withheld the recording of the 11-19-19 Closed Session from a previous data practices act request.
In addition to the School Board, some members of the media have also been provided with much of the data. I remain committed to accuracy and honesty, that is why I made sure that all 7 School Board members and 2 previous school board members were given the opportunity to meet with me and correct (with evidence) anything that is wrong. I want to express my sincere appreciation to Mark Schleusner for being willing to do so.
Letter from School District Attorney. The school district attorney is advising school board members to not meet with me to review the data. While all 7 current school board members can meet with me, none have been willing.
Thanks for bringing clarity to the story.