Two weeks after he was fired during a highly contentious and controversial school board meeting, former superintendent Corey Wise has made it clear he intends to file a lawsuit against the school district.
“This letter serves as a record request pursuant to the Colorado Open Records Act and notice of your duty to preserve evidence related to this matter for future litigation,” a letter from the Rathod Mohamedbhai law firm says.
The letter, which is in full below, was sent to the district on Friday and seeks substantial documents on numerous topics, including emails and other “digital communications” generated by members of the school board regarding Wise’s termination.
It also seeks “preservation of evidence” regarding communications that refer to numerous topics, including the district’s equity policy, COVID masking, discussions about the “racial demographics of students,” banning books, diversity and the teacher’s union.
Wise was fired during a special board meeting on Feb. 4. During the week before his firing, the three minority members of the seven-member school board said they were approached by other board members and told they had issued an ultimatum for Wise to resign or be fired.
The minority board members, Elizabeth Hanson, Susan Meek, and David Ray, said they were concerned about the private nature of the moves, which they felt could violate Colorado’s open meetings laws.
In the November election, the seven-member school board underwent a shakeup when more than half of its members were replaced by a group of four conservative candidates. It’s the first time conservatives have had control of the board since 2017.
Mike Peterson, Becky Myers, Kaylee Winegar, and Christy Williams all won their seats in November. They ran together on a “Kids First” platform.
Ultimately, the board met in a special meeting on Feb. 4, and in a 4-3 vote; Wise was fired.
At the time, the board did not give a reason for the termination and per his contract, Wise was to be awarded $247,500 for being fired without cause.
In an interview with Fox News on Feb. 7, Peterson and Winegar, defended the firing of Wise as necessary to prevent the teachers union from gaining power. Though, in a separate interview the next day with talk radio host George Brauchler on 710 KNUS, Peterson suggested that Wise did do something worthy of termination.
“If we wanted to just do a change, we could’ve done that in December. We could have come in, removed the superintendent for cause and installed somebody else, but that was not a plan and that’s not what we did,” Peterson said.
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