Jefferson County District Attorney Cory Crenshaw now says the Beaumont Independent School District Board of Trustees' regularly scheduled 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 19, meeting is canceled.
Jefferson County District Attorney Cory Crenshaw on June 19 said the Beaumont Independent School District Board of Trustees still cannot legally discuss a proposed Reduction in Force (RIF) of more than 200 school district educators and employees during their regularly scheduled Thursday, June 19, meeting – not even in open session. Crenshaw sent notice to BISD superintendent Timothy Chargois, BISD trustees and school district attorneys on June 17 advising that the pending executive session scheduled for Thursday, June 19, was contrary to government code in that the elected representatives “may not discuss general policies regarding an entire class of employees in a closed meeting.”
BISD attorney Tanner Hunt issued word that the administrators and elected officials would instead discuss the matter in open session of the school board meeting.
Crenshaw did not accept Hunt’s offer, however, saying that the proposed change of private to open session was also illegal.
“The statute clearly states a minimum of 72 hours notice must be posted for agenda items, and as such the re-designation of the (RIF) items constitutes the necessity of a new notice with posting requirements,” Crenshaw determined. “When notices posted for meetings consistently distinguish between subjects for public deliberation and subjects for executive session deliberation, an abrupt departure from this practice may deceive the public and thereby render the notice inadequate.”
Furthermore, “Failure to comply with the proper notice as set forth in the statutes would subject eh actions taken to civil remedies including voiding any actions taken on said agenda items,” Crenshaw warned. “We believe it is in the best interests of this community for the school board to be in compliance with the laws of the state of Texas. We reserve the right to further investigate this matter, and bring appropriate action as necessary to ensure all actions are in compliance with the laws of this state.”