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More details surface in RPS controversy

Jaclyn Harold
Created: August 06, 2020 11:20 PM

(ABC 6 News)--New information regarding the violation of open meetings law has been released in the controversial claims against the Rochester school board.

RPS has been discussing the idea of building a new school for years but recently board members were caught off guard when councilman Michael Wojcik accused them of keeping property discussions behind closed doors.

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On July 14, Wojcik took to twitter claiming Superintendent Michael Munoz withheld information from the school board regarding a free land that was offered up for the middle school. According to the Post Bulletin Munoz was offered land North of Valley High Dr. by a developer named Mark Kramer. The offer was made on October 3.

Officials from the RPS fired back in a statement saying they were disappointed in the divisive claims, and that the allegations were false. In closed board meeting recordings obtained by the PB, the school board confirms its knowledge of the northwest location by discussing the property in comparison to land on the southwest part of town.

According to the PB, it wasn't until January 2 that the school board appeared to be officially notified of the offer in a written update from Munoz. During another closed session in February, board members discussed the northwest site once again.

After the recordings were released Wojcik posted on his website "The latest information proves Munoz withheld the offer for three months." 

Wojcik pointed out the gap between when Munoz was made aware of the offer, and when he allegedly shared the information with the board. He also stated that the board discussing property in closed sessions violates the Minnesota statute 13D, also known as the Open Meetings law".

The school board said it's maintaining that nothing was done illegally.  In an email representing the board and the district, officials said "The district believes the selection of a new middle school site was done in a transparent manner and within the bounds of what the law allows."


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