Nashua Board of Education President Heather Raymond has admitted to holding an unofficial and unposted meeting and conversing secretly with board members before issuing a public letter calling for BOE member Doris Hohensee to resign.
In an email obtained by GraniteGrok, Ms. Raymond admits that,
Date: May 10, 2019 at 6:06:54 PM EDT
Subject: Re: Overstepping your authority …
… a majority of the board members each individually contacted me to express outrage and concern over Doris’s behavior. I would not have acted otherwise.
Board of Education
Contacting each other to express individual outrage, as misplaced (or politically convenient) as the outrage may be, cannot coalesce into board action. It certainly can’t result in a letter on BOE stationary issued as a public release. That would not be allowed.
In this excerpt from a follow-up email former Nashua Selectman Fred Teeboom, explains,
Ms. Raymond’s ignorance of the law truly amazes
An elected official is not an employee of the district. An elected official represents her constituents, in this case the citizens of Nashua.
Ms. Raymond can ask all she wants, but that is really meaningless unless Ms. Hohensee resigns voluntarily. The School Board, following debate and a majority vote in a meeting called for this purpose (in public if Ms. Hohensee wishes), must file formal charges, and then only a Court of Law can remove an elected official following a full hearing represented by both sides.
Given the circumstances, Ms. Raymond might want to consider her options. She may already be guilty of defamation and abuse of power. Now she has to deal with this. Did she run it past the district lawyer? If so what were they thinking? If not, why not?
Did the Board members who were “outraged” sanction the illegal letter or were they just complaining? Did Ms. Raymond contact them fishing for support? Did some other board member do that and bring it to Ms. Raymond to push for a consensus judgment which amounts to complicity in an illegal secret meeting?
What did she tell the Superintendent, who signed on to this illegal letter and is now complicit in this unethical abuse?
And is there even a case to be had should Heather Raymond survive that scrutiny to vote on proceeding toward legal action to remove Ms. Hohensee? (Because I probably don’t have to tell you, she’s not some wallflower you’re going to pressure into resigning.)
How many board members were involved in the illegal secret meeting? What are their names? We don’t know. It was an illegal secret meeting!
As I noted yesterday, if it wasn’t clear, there’s nothing about the accusations against Doris Hohensee that will survive even moderate scrutiny while Ms. Raymond and company, in their mad rush to smear a political opponent, have (what’s the phrase I’m looking for?) engaged in reprehensible behavior for elected officials.
I can actually picture them yelling “I have you now!” (scrubbing their hands together, giddy with anticipation) in the mad rush to smear a political opponent, forgetting all manner of order and convention to push out their illegal letter.
That’s done and here we are.
As I noted yesterday, “I think the BOE may have overstepped a bit here and I’m excited to see what happens next. And I have to admit, I like Doris’ chances.”
I’d like to double-down on that.