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updated: 5/19/2011 4:13 PM

Ethics complaints stall District 46 contract extension

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  • Ellen Correll

      Ellen Correll

  • Shannon Smigielski

      Shannon Smigielski

  • Ray Millington

      Ray Millington


Some Grayslake Elementary District 46 board members cited active ethics complaints in gaining postponement on discussion about the superintendent's proposed contract extension.

Ellen Correll's salary and benefits deal of roughly $223,000 runs through the 2011-12 academic year. She may be in line for an extension through the 2012-13 school season.

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Various ethics complaints about District 46 officials have been lodged with the school board this year. Libertyville attorney Richard Mittelman has been hired to lead an internal investigation of some of the complaints.

In April, Lake County tea party founder Lennie Jarratt's ethics complaint centered on a claim Correll improperly used her taxpayer-owned work email for the board campaigns of Susan Facklam and Mary Garcia. Facklam retained her post, but Garcia fell short.

Although it was listed on the meeting agenda, expected discussion on Correll's proposed contract extension was delayed after board member Shannon Smigielski raised concerns late Wednesday.

Smigielski said discussion on Correll shouldn't occur "until any and all pending investigations are complete." She received support from board members Kip Evans and Michael Carbone.

District 46 board President Ray Millington didn't back postponing discussion on Correll's deal indefinitely. Later in the meeting, board member Keith Surroz requested the proposed extension be on the agenda for a meeting June 15.

"I don't know what you mean by having everything complete," Millington said in response to Smigielski's position. "Everything is what and when? Is it forever? I don't understand what that means."

Colleen Wade, who was appointed to the school board in November and stepped down this month, defended Correll during public comment time toward the end of Wednesday's meeting.

Wade said it would be harmful to District 46 if Correll leaves because she can't get a contract extension. She also asked the school board to give administrators the freedom to perform their jobs.

Known as Ellen Robinson when she was hired in January 2005, Correll came to District 46 from Corning Painted Post School District in upstate New York, where she had been an assistant superintendent of instruction. Her first District 46 contract covered three academic years.

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