The school board had cited the purpose of the 2016 special session as taking into account recommendations from the superintendent or treasurer when the actual plan – to discuss the couple’s non-renewal of the couple’s contracts – was known in advance, according to an affidavit from then-school board president Adil Baguirov.
Dayton School Board President Adil Baguirov (center) chairs a special session on February 23, 2016 at which the School Board decided not to renew District Treasurer Craig Jones’ contract. JEREMY P. KELLEY / STAFF
Welbaum’s opinion is that the school board changed the agenda the day after the meeting by adding the non-renewable resolutions as items on the agenda while keeping the original agenda date.
“We are not aware of any case law that allows public bodies to mislead the public by including the language in messages that obscure what the public body is actually up to,” wrote Welbaum.
Ohio law states that if a court is to rule open sessions against a public entity such as a school board, that entity must pay the complainant reasonable attorney fees.
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The appeals court said the two possible exceptions did not apply in the DPS-Jones case and referred the case back to Dankof’s court to determine the final amount DPS will pay to cover the services of Jones’ attorney Dennis Pergram.