Board members went into closed session Monday night at around 8:45 p.m. and emerged at around 10:20 p.m. to tell a small crowd of community members who stuck around that there would be no actions taken.
Former Board President Dennis Brennan, a defendant in Barrett’s suit related to board member access to district records, has said that he believes the item being considered by the board in private is a proposed settlement agreement with Barrett. He sent his copy of the proposed settlement to news outlets in July after Judge Paul Fullerton dismissed Barrett’s suit based on it being “moot” now that she is not a board member.
Under the proposed language sent out by Brennan and confirmed as real by District 86 attorney James Petrungaro, Barrett would be provided unredacted special-education-related documents from 2007 to 2009 that were denied her in 2009, leading to the lawsuit, as well as an audio recording of a closed-session meeting she missed in 2009.
Her lawyers would also be allowed to petition the court for reimbursement of legal fees.
When asked if the item being discussed is a settlement with Barrett, current Board President Claudia Manley has said she can't comment on pending litigation.
Pending litigation was previously on the board's agenda for discussion in closed session on July 8, July 15 and Aug. 5. Related action items were on the agendas of the latter two meetings, but no action directly related to the Barrett case were voted on.
The board did act after the Aug. 5 closed session to retain the law firm of Hodges, Loizzi, Eisenhammer Rodick and Kohn. According to the motion made by Victor Casini, the firm will "serve as additional council to provide legal services to the board at the board's direction."
Casini, Ed Corcoran, Manley and Richard Skoda voted to approve the item, while Kay Gallo and Michael Kuhn voted against approval. Jennifer Planson was absent at that meeting.
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