At last month’s Ennis School Board meeting, my fellow board members approved drafting a separation agreement with Superintendent Doug Walsh. I would like to explain my reasons why there should be no separation agreement.
The retirement benefit plan that was offered to all school employees in 2010 had to be exercised immediately upon retirement eligibility or lost.
The exact language of the benefit option reads: “the staff member must accept the retirement benefit plan on the first year they become eligible or forever lose the opportunity. No other retirement plan will be offered during the life of this plan.”
It is clear from the decision of teachers’ retirement system that Walsh has never actually retired nor did he exercise the retirement benefit plan option. Walsh is as subject to the 2010 retirement benefit plan as any other school employee.
Until the litigation with retirement system is settled, it is a mistake for the board to be writing a separation agreement with Walsh. A new board may look at this and say we need the opinion of an attorney who was not involved in making the decisions and writing these contracts that have given rise to the system claims.
We now know that important documents were concealed from this board and from the retirement system. We know that the school board’s attorney, Elizabeth Kaleva, helped write contracts for Walsh that are the basis for the system claims.
Those facts alone dictate that we need a second legal opinion.
Ennis School Board