Burke gets little satisfaction from school boardFarmington School Board member Tim Burke got little satisfaction Monday with a series of motions related to the board’s investigation of his conduct.
By: Nathan Hansen, The Farmington Independent
Farmington School Board member Tim Burke got little satisfaction Monday with a series of motions related to the board’s investigation of his conduct.
Burke, who board members have alleged at an Oct. 11 meeting has made burdensome requests for information and bullied some district staff failed to get a second on motions to reimburse him for legal expenses related to the investigation, to put a cap on the cost of the investigation and to require investigators to turn over to Burke’s attorney any information they receive.
District attorney Mick Waldspurger addressed many of Burke’s proposed motions before he had a chance to make them. He argued it would be a conflict of interest for Burke to participate in any discussion of whether he should receive reimbursement for his legal costs because Burke stood to gain financially from the decision.
Waldspurger suggested that being any part of the reimbursement discussion could have legal ramifications for Burke, but Burke still made the motion.
Waldspurger also argued against putting a cap on the cost of the investigation. Some board members had suggested limiting expenses to $10,000, but Waldspurger said while the investigation likely will not cost more than that adding a cap could limit the investigator’s ability to be thorough.
“Based on my experience — I’ve been doing this for almost 16 years — $10,000 should be sufficient to do this investigation,” Waldspurger said. “It seems like a big number. We hope it’s going to be substantially less than that. But we want to make sure it’s a full, thorough investigation.”
Waldspurger also argued against a suggestion that the board waive attorney-client privilege with regard to the investigation. He said that move would restrict his ability to give candid advice to board members.
Burke never made a motion on that item.
School board members authorized the investigation into Burke’s conduct at their Nov. 8 meeting. Board members have been told the investigation, which is being conducted by Minnetonka lawyer James Martin, should be done by early December. Board chair Veronica Walter said last week the board will decide once it gets the report whether any disciplinary action is warranted.