It is not illegal or against sunshine and ethics laws to leak executive session information

I am shocked at the discussions happening about it being criminal to leak executive session information by board members. It has gotten to a point that two people filed Ohio Ethics Commission complaints alleging a Washington Local Board member is doing something illegal and against Ohio ethics laws. Superintendent Hickey is also alleging he will want to make similar complaints (Hickey should know better).

Is it illegal and against Ohio Sunshine laws or ethics laws? The answer is a resounding "NO", but it is not a wise choice for board members to do something like this most of the time.

Sometimes leaks are necessary to get information discussed in executive session out that needs to get out. From my own experiences, there were times the Toledo Public School board would discuss stuff in executive session, which should not have been discussed in executive session but no one would know if the information did not get out. There needs to be a balance for the sake of moving things forward, but any elected official or board member can divulge information about executive sessions without legal consequence. An recent issue in Lorain dealt with this exact issue:

"Even though they signed, it's not enforceable," said attorney Tim Smith, a former Akron Beacon Journal managing editor, retired Kent State University journalism professor and Sunshine Law expert. "They are free to talk about what went on in executive sessions if they wish. And there are no repercussions for it."

This does not mean that they may not be dragged into some legal issue later, but any legal problems would be broached by the decision and not by the information getting out. If someone were to sue, the information getting out makes things easier for the person suing, but does not create anything from scratch that would not have existed. (Yes, I wrote that before 8 am :) )

So let's stop making much ado about nothing and focus our energies on solving problems or getting to the root cause.

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The time line that both of these men outline doesn't make sense. They say that JL leaked information on August 20th, but a compliant according to Blade documents wasn't filed until August 27th. How would JL know this information to leak before a compliant was filed? Also,, according to Blade documents, that executive session about Hickey wasn't until September. so how could JL mention this to Hughes or Johnson in August before that executive meeting took place? That doesn't make sense.

If these two really cared about the district and not one particular man and they felt so passionate about it, why are they coming forward now, months after it happened. The timings all rather convenient. Right?

Mike Murphy accuses me of being involved in leaked information.

My family has had property in Addison for decades. We knew about the allegations against Hickey back when it was going on in the late 80's, 1990. Some of our neighbors live up there year round and Addison High School is where they graduated from. People I have known and known of contacted me after the reprimand story broke. They have wanted to see him go to jail since he left there so they pointed me in the right direction to get evidence. I gathered it contacted Pat Carmean as a first step, as she is the only female on the BOE.

I offered for Hunter and Illstrup to speak to one of the former students, both of them declined. That's when Jim Langenderfer got involved. WLS is the first district to address this issue head on. It was ME who gave THEM information. They knew very little about it before I came into the picture.

Carmean and Langenderfer are the only two board members who have done the job they were elected to do. Sometimes it's not easy to do the right thing!

“One person's craziness is another person's reality.”
― Tim Burton

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