Nova Scotia

South Shore board member keeps seat

A member of the South Shore Regional School Board accused of violating the board's code of ethics has survived a vote to remove her.

A member of the South Shore Regional School Board accused of violating the board's code of ethics has survived a vote to remove her.

Karen Reinhardt retains her seat after a vote Monday night in Bridgewater. While most board members wanted to remove her, the motion was one vote shy of the minimum needed to pass.

"I feel actually relieved. I don't know if I can say vindicated because the vote was very close," Reinhardt said.

Reinhardt is accused of interfering in a school review process last March, leading to an apology from the board and a performance review by the province.

Board members also claim Reinhardt intervened on behalf of her husband — a school bus driver whose hours were cut back — and took part in a debate about a teaching job that her daughter failed to land.

Board chairman Elliott Payzant brought forward the motion to remove Reinhardt. While he believes she "made some mistakes," he said the group must now find a way to work together.

"We really just have to work on the role of board members in governance as opposed to the role of staff in management and make sure that the lines are completely clear, and I think that's been a big part of the problem we've had," Payzant said.

Reinhardt said many of the allegations against her are unfounded or unsubstantiated. She said she's also upset that her family was dragged into the matter.

The board voted 7-4 to remove Reinhardt, but the motion needed two-thirds majority to pass. One board member was absent.

Education Minister Ramona Jennex has the discretion to remove Reinhardt or even disband the school board.

Jennex is expected to receive the audit on the board soon.

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