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District 303 School Board rejects settlement offer in Davis Richmond suit

Published: Thursday, July 31, 2014 10:12 p.m. CST

ST. CHARLES – The St. Charles School District 303 Board on Thursday took its first public vote on a settlement involving the Davis Richmond school litigation.

School board members at a special meeting Thursday voted 6-1 in favor of rejecting a $240,000 lawsuit settlement offer. Board member Judith McConnell cast the only “no” vote.

“The board felt it wasn’t appropriate,” Board President Steve Spurling said after the meeting, which included a 90-minute closed session.

District 303 Superintendent Don Schlomann confirmed Thursday’s vote was the first time the school board has voted on a settlement regarding the Davis-Richmond lawsuit in open session.

The settlement would have been paid out to the plaintiffs of the class action suit filed in fall 2013 and the suit that resulted in the Corrective Action Plan for Davis Richmond School, said Stan Eisenhammer, an attorney for the school board. Parents of the district originally sued in 2011 after the school board voted the same year to restructure Davis and Richmond schools.

Attorneys await an appellate court response on the second suit, Eisenhammer said. A briefing schedule in appellate court for the class-action suit has recently been set with the district’s first brief due in November.

At the start of Thursday’s meeting, the school board voted 4-2 to enter into closed session with member Jim Gaffney and Board Vice-President Kathy Hewell against the motion. Board member Corinne Pierog arrived from out of town during the closed session.

Tim Dwyer, an attorney for the plaintiffs was invited into the school board’s closed session about 30 minutes after it began at 6:04 p.m. Thursday. He left the session and the district building where the meeting was held after a brief statement.

“ I just gave them my perspective … and we’ll see,” Dwyer said.

Dwyer could not immediately be reached Thursday evening for further comment after the vote.

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