Transparency News, 5/28/20


May 28, 2020
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state & local news stories
"When asked about a public vote, Randall said those emails are available through a Freedom of Information Act Request."

Verletta White was in line to become the leader of the 25th-largest schools system in the United States. Now, she will be the superintendent of the 19th-largest — in Virginia. White, 52, was introduced as superintendent of Roanoke City Public Schools during Tuesday’s school board meeting. She comes to Roanoke after a long career in Baltimore County, Maryland, where she was interim superintendent for two years and was slated to become the permanent superintendent before an ethics violation derailed the promotion. The Roanoke School Board knew about White’s ethics violation when she was interviewed for the job, but considered it a small blemish on her long record in education. The board approved her hiring unanimously. White said she wanted Roanoke families to know about the ethics complaint before she started her new job. “I want to establish trust with the community,” she said. “I want to be as honest and as open as I can. Families are trusting me with their children. I am an open book.”
The Roanoke Times

Regional chief elected officials have sent a letter to Gov. Ralph Northam supporting the plans to begin the gradual loosening of business restrictions in Northern Virginia this Friday. The letter was signed by Loudoun County Chairwoman Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large), who was also the letter’s chief author, and Middleburg Mayor Bridge Littleton along with the mayors and board chairpersons of Arlington, Fairfax, and Prince William counties, Fairfax and Alexandria cities, and the towns of Herndon, Vienna and Dumfries. For the second time, Loudoun’s supervisors held an informal vote on whether to support Northam’s schedule for reopening the county and the region on Friday by email over the weekend. Six weighed in, mostly supportive. Randall does not need the support of a majority of supervisors to sign a letter to the governor; however, without that vote, she speaks officially only for herself and not for the full Board of Supervisors. Loudoun Now requested copies of supervisors’ email correspondence over the weekend, receiving those emails the next day forwarded from Randall. Supervisors’ previous vote, asking Northam to delay reopening in Loudoun, was also held over email; when asked about a public vote, Randall said those emails are available through a Freedom of Information Act Request. Asked about a public vote, Randall said she has “no trouble with that if people want to do that.” No such vote has been held.
stories of national interest

It was a day for the history books on Capitol Hill: For the first time, House lawmakers voted by proxy, an unprecedented move to avoid the risks of travel to Washington during the pandemic. To mark Wednesday’s history-making moment, House Republicans sued to stop the Democratic majority’s new system, in which absent lawmakers can instruct those present to vote on their behalf.

Arizona State men's basketball coach Bobby Hurley last December sent a blistering email to athletics director Ray Anderson, accusing his boss of minimizing allegations that a prominent booster had sexually harassed "multiple wives" of school employees. In his Dec. 8, 2019 memo to Anderson, Hurley wrote from his Arizona State email account that the athletics director had "disregarded the safety and shown no sensitivity towards the women that have experienced sexual assault. You have chosen to create your own numeric scale on what sexual assault mean which is disturbing." In a response to Hurley's email sent the same day, Anderson said the coach was making "false and baseless allegations," calling his approach "puzzling." Anderson also told Hurley he would no longer speak to him about the sexual harassment allegations. Anderson also said "you and I will now limit our engagement to the men's basketball program." The emails and other records released to The Arizona Republic under the state's Public Records Law provide additional details about allegations that have engulfed Arizona State's surging basketball program and revealed a schism between Anderson and the popular Hurley, who is 93-69 in five seasons with the Sun Devils.
USA Today