COTTONWOOD – Thursday, the Mingus Union School board unanimously voted to follow the advice of district attorney Susan Segal to waive attorney-client privilege concerning each of the reports – and to direct Segal to report the findings on behalf of the board.
“It behooves the board to report this correct information,” Segal said of the trio of investigations documented in three summaries that totaled 80 pages.
The reports claim that Hargrove failed to comply with the terms of a school safety grant; and violated conflict of interest laws “in connection with her continued involvement in the employment of her husband.”
“There were numerous personnel items she signed off on” pertaining to her husband Lowell ‘Grover’ Hargrove,” Segal said. “Not a lot of money, but you have a duty to uphold the laws. It was against the law for her to sign off or to make decisions.”
Segal referenced “evidence of poor planning” in her third report and district administration’s “head in the sand approach” regarding technology failures associated with the April AzMERIT testing that led to a D score in the Arizona Department of Education’s A-to-F scores received in October.
With the board having waived the attorney-client privilege, Segal will report to the Arizona Department of Education of Hargrove’s failure to comply with the terms of the school safety grant. Segal will also report to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office “and any other necessary individuals or agencies” about the conflict of interest matter.
Segal recommended that the report on the AzMERIT scores “be made public so that district students, parents [and] constituents can understand why the 2018 AzMERIT scores are so low.”
When asked about the report on Thursday, Hargrove said “all efforts were made to do the right thing using the information available.”
“During my time at Mingus, I had the honor and privilege of working with amazing educators, students, parents, and community members,” she said. “There are always two sides to every situation. However, my intention is to uphold the conditions of the separation agreement signed earlier this month.”
Hargrove’s tenure at Mingus Union ended Nov. 10 while on indefinite suspension. She did not attend Thursday’s meeting.
At this time, it is not known whether the Gust Rosenfeld reports will be posted on the Mingus Union School District website, www.mingusunion.com.
-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42
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