No answers given to resignation agreement questions

Following the May 1 announcement that the School District of Milton superintendent and director of administrative operations would resign at the end of the school year, School Board President Joe Martin on June 6 told the Janesville Gazette and the Milton Courier that none of their 19 follow-up questions would be answered.

In a letter to the newspapers emailed by Director of Administrative Operations Jerry Schuetz, Martin wrote:

“Our legal team has taken a considerable amount of time over the past several weeks reviewing the questions and determining whether or not there were ways in which we could answer those questions without violating state law(s) with respect to closed session(s) discussion(s) and/or violating laws governing attorney client privilege. Unfortunately, there was no way we could answer any of them without putting the district at potential legal risk.

“Other questions with respect to insurance claims and rates would cause the district to merely speculate what may happen in the future, for which we are not comfortable in offering a speculative response at this time.”

Here are the questions asked by the Janesville Gazette:

1) Why did the board feel it was worth paying thousands to terminate (Superintendent) Tim Schigur and Jerry Schuetz’s contracts?

2) What compensatory damages, specifically, are Schigur and Schuetz being paid for?

3) Does the board believe the administrators’ resignations will help the Milton School District and community move forward after months, years of tension?

4) Where did the board come up with the numbers for payments to Schigur and Schuetz?

5) How did the resignations begin? Did Schigur and Schuetz come to the board wanting to resign or did the board go to them looking for resignations?

6) Why is the insurance company willing to pay for most of these costs?

7) Why is the company not paying for all of it?

8) Will payments for the resignations affect the district’s insurance rates?

9) What segment of the insurance policy covers this?

10) How will the district afford to pay a superintendent while also paying for these agreements?

11) How does this affect the district’s budgeting process for next year?

12) Will programming or services or staff be cut to accommodate these added expenses?

13) Did Schigur and/or Schuetz threaten a lawsuit? If so, over what?

14) How will everything that happened in the last few months affect the prospective applicant pool?

15) How does criticism of board members from Schigur and Schuetz in their augmentations affect the prospective applicant pool?

Here are the questions added to this list by the Milton Courier:

16) We have the tuition reimbursements up to Jan. 2019 but wonder if there might be an updated tuition amount that would need to be paid (or reimbursed) yet this year for Dr. Schuetz. Are any payments to be made or that have been made since January?

17) The agreement mentions Dr.Schigur’s attorney and reference has been made to working with “attorneys?” Is there more than one attorney or perhaps is there one attorney representing both men? The March 21 cease and desist we understand was from Dr. Schuetz’s attorney. Are we wrong?

18) Dr. Schuetz, I believe, made reference to the school district attorney (Shana Lewis) telling him not to speak. This same attorney then negotiated the agreement with Drs. Schigur and Schuetz, yes?

19) Attorney Lewis cannot however protect Mr. Kvapil. Is that correct or could you explain or clarify that?

Martin initially said that a meeting would be held to answer questions.

To get the ball rolling, news media submitted questions by email on May 14.

On May 15, Schuetz said questions that could be answered would be answered in a written response.

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