Oak Lawn, IL. (ECWd) -
Oak Lawn School District will soon hold a special meeting, where they will attempt to violate the civil rights of one of their own elected school board members. In doing so, we believe they will be guilty of taking action as a public official without authority to take such an action.
Here are the questions we would ask:
- where, in any law, does a school board have the authority to censure any board member?
- where, in any law, is a school board member stripped of his first amendment rights to free speech?
- where, in any law, does a school board member forfeit his right to use the judicial system?
- where, in any law, is a school board granted authority to be prosecutor, jury, and judge?
- where, in any law, is a school board granted any authority to declare a seat vacant when they simply allege violations, but there are no convictions?
- where, in any law, is a school board granted the power to convict anyone of anything?
Keep in mind, when answering the above, that any local rules or bylaws cannot violate constitutional rights. No board can force anyone to forfeit their rights.
This school board is attempting to extract revenge on a board member because he does not "toe the line" like they want him to.
A school board has no authority to convict anyone of anything. That job is left to the courts.
A school board does not possess the power to discipline/censure any elected board members; "There is no provision in the constitution or the Open Meetings Act which expressly authorizes public bodies to sanction their members for revealing what went on during a closed meeting, and there is clearly no constitutional provision from which one may imply such powers." Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris, 1991. The same can be said for sanctioning an elected official for any other reason - there are no powers of sanction granted to a school board. Additionally, without a specific policy permitting censure (any such policy would be void in our opinion as a power not granted cannot be taken), any such censure would be invalid - see Nelson v Crystal Lake Park District.
He was elected by the people, this board has absolutely no authority to remove him.
We would hope the Regional Superintendent of Schools is not ignorant enough to complete this massive civil rights violation.
Here are some of the issues presented:
- the school board thinks he is prohibited from suing the governor and state superintendent of schools and prohibited from asking, as part of the relief in the lawsuit, that the judge award him his legal fees. In our opinion, a Judgement by the Courts cannot cross the threshold into official misconduct nor into prohibited interests in contracts. Mutual settlements are a different animal altogether
- the school board thinks it is a violation of law for a board member to sue the school district
- the school district thinks that since they had to spend money to defend against the lawsuit, there was a conflict of interest
- the school board thinks he needed permission, to speak at Lyons Township, as an elected board member
- the school board thinks he failed to seek change through an ethical channel - what could be more ethical than his right to the judicial system?
- the school board thinks they needed to grant him permission to file a lawsuit
- the school board thinks he can't reference his current elected position in his campaign literature for congress
- the school board complained that he misrepresented his position on masks when he filled out a candidacy questionnaire - we ask whose questionnaire was this? The school board's (did the school board electioneer by circulating a campaign questionnaire?)? Everyone knows that questionnaires during a race for a political office can never be used as an excuse for removal from office.
This stinks of political payback for daring to question the status quo.
In our opinion, this school board member should fight all of this in a court of law.
School boards such as this one need to be shown they cannot continue on the path they are on without having to face a judge.