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Blairsville-Saltsburg school director asks for ethics probe of board operations

| Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013, 8:55 p.m.

Blairsville-Saltsburg School Board member Holly Hall revealed last week that she has filed a request for the state ethics commission to look into the propriety of board voting, hiring and spending procedures she has called into question.

Reading a statement into the record near the end of the board's Sept. 18 meeting, Hall indicated she asked the ethics commission to focus on “specific issues.” But, following the meeting, she declined to discuss the specifics of her request, which she said she submitted two days earlier.

District Superintendent Tammy Whitfield declined to comment on Hall's remarks.

In her statement, Hall said, “I am troubled about specific issues that I have tried to address to this administration to no avail.... I find it necessary to ask the state ethics commission to provide me, the board and the public with an unbiased objective point of view regarding specific issues regarding how we deliberate, how we vote, how we spend money, how we employ and how ethical we are when it comes to operating this district.

“If I am wrong in my perceptions, I will apologize. If I am right, we owe the district an apology.”

Hall has voiced an opinion that district officials have violated the state's Sunshine Law by engaging in decision-making via such methods as e-mail correspondence rather than at a meeting open to the public.

Hall also said she feels. because of the opinions she's expressed, that she has been branded as a “trouble-maker” by many of her colleagues and administrators at the school district.

“I am troubled that board members are permitted to scream profanities, insults and make inflammatory accusations to and about those who disagree with them without proof or foundation. And the administration says nothing,” Hall stated.

Jeff Himler is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-459-6100, ext. 2910 or jhimler@tribweb.com.

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