Catholic school chair censures trustee for speaking to media over contract vote
'Why should I be reprimanded for that? I spoke to the media to defend myself'
The chair of the Edmonton Catholic school board is accusing a trustee of violating board policy after blogging about the decision to extend the superintendent's contract.
Laura Thibert said Patricia Grell's blog post and comments in the media challenging the board's 4-3 vote on to employ Joan Carr in the role for another year were out of line.
"Trustee Grell diminished the reputation not only of the board and district, but also of superintendent Carr and other staff members," Thibert read from a statement at the outset of Tuesday afternoon's board meeting.
"The board does not condone trustee Grell's recent actions."
Thibert said Grell contravened bylaws by questioning whether Larry Kowalczyk, whose wife is a school principal in the district, should have been allowed to vote to employ Carr for another year at the Jan. 27 meeting.
"It is not about the contract, it is about speaking out after a board decision has been made," Thibert told reporters.
Grell, who posted her consternation on her personal blog, said Tuesday evening she has the right to comment in the media.
"Why should I be reprimanded for that? I spoke to the media to defend myself, defend my reason for making these allegations, that was it," Grell said.
Grell alleged that Thibert was violating board policy by not reaching out to Grell with concerns about conduct, citing a section of the bylaws that suggests Thibert was obliged to do so, but failed.