Using a computer printout documenting emails in the district’s spam folder and the sworn affidavit of Superintendent Newcome saying the district never received emails sent by a school board candidate Tim Alexander, Pennsylvania’s Office of Open Records (OOR) found members of Octorara’s School Board acted within the law when it negotiated a new contract for Newcome earlier this year.
The legality of the board’s negotiations with Newcome were questioned by school board candidate Tim Alexander of Parkesburg in June. Alexander claimed the board, by failing to keep the community informed of the negotiations with Newcome, had violated the Pennsylvania’s Right to Know Law.
Pennsylvania’s Right to Know Law gives citizens like Alexander access to information concerning the activities of local government. The law is designed to promote access to official government information in order to prohibit secrets and make public officials accountable for their actions.
Alexander had requested “minutes, notes, emails, text messages and correspondents from all board members and administrators,” related to the board’s decision in June to extend, “Dr. Newcome’s Contract as Superintendent of schools.”
The OOR dismissed Alexander’s claim Monday saying Alexander neglected to send his original request to Dan Carsley, Octorara’s open records officer, and had subsequently failed to offer any evidence to refute the district’s sworn statements about the workings of the district’s spam filter.
The new five-year contract with Newcome announced in June called for an $8,000 reduction in the superintendent’s annual salary.
Previous coverage of Alexander’s open record’s suit here.