BISD's executive session violates state law, says DA
Jefferson County District Attorney Cory Crenshaw sent notice June 17 to Beaumont Independent School District Board of Trustees members, superintendent Timothy Chargois, and school district attorneys advising that the pending executive session scheduled for Thursday, June 19, is contrary to government code in that the elected representatives are precluded from discussing a proposed Reduction in Force (RIF) behind closed doors.
According to Crenshaw’s letter to the district representatives, the school board does have the power to meet in executive session away from public purview to discuss personnel matters, but, “the board may not discuss general policies regarding an entire class of employees in a closed meeting.”
As a reminder of the penalties resulting from committing an infraction of this type, Crenshaw also enclosed notice that “potential criminal repercussions” may be exacted. The offense is punishable by “a fine of not less than $100 or more than $500; confinement in the county jail for not less than one month or more than six months; or both the fine and confinement.”
Furthermore, the district attorney stated for the record, “This office is prepared to prosecute these violations to the fullest extent of the law,” adding that ,“Law enforcement personnel has been notified of the potential violations.”