Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills District 181 puts closed session audio tape online

The Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills Elementary District 181 Board has added an audio recording from an Oct. 17, 2013, closed session to its online podcasts in response to directions from the public access counselor of the Attorney General’s Office.

While a low volume level makes much of the recording of 8 minutes, 3 seconds difficult to hear, the tape was added June 20, with a written note stating it was being made public as directed. The tape is posted online at http://podcast.d181.org.

The public access counselor issued directions in response to a request for review by former board member Yvonne Mayer, who claim the board improperly discussed her request for a copy of a fact-finding report during the Oct. 17, 2013 closed session. The report was completed by an attorney at the board’s request and was the result of an investigation into Mayer’s claim that she was assaulted during an April 22, 2013 closed session by a fellow board member.

Mayer, who served on the board from May 2009 through April 2013, requested the fellow board member be removed from the district’s Finance Committee following the incident.

The public access counselor ruled the board violated the Open Meetings Act by holding the closed-session discussion because it was not authorized by any exception to the general requirement that public bodies open conduct business.

Board President Marty Turek said June 12 he was holding off on making any comments about the public access counselor’s ruling, as it had only recently been received and was still being reviewed. A June 18 email from District 181 stated the board “has no further comment on this topic.”

District 181 has paid $2,442 in attorney’s fees related to the Open Meetings Act request for review filed by Mayer, according to information obtained by The Doings through a Freedom of Information Act request to the district.

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