Report clears District 15 board president of tampering with minutes

Updated 1/7/2011 6:54 PM
  • Gerald D. Chapman, Communty Consolidated School District 15.

    Gerald D. Chapman, Communty Consolidated School District 15.

  • Sue Quinn  School Board in District 15 in Palatine.

    Sue Quinn  School Board in District 15 in Palatine.

An investigation into claims that the Palatine Township Elementary District 15 school board president improperly attempted to alter meeting minutes has cleared him of any wrongdoing.

Though board attorney Mike Loizzi recommended not releasing his report until the board meets Wednesday, district officials have confirmed that it concludes Gerald Chapman didn't act inappropriately when he tried to clarify a financial figure related to a controversial bond issue.

Chapman, who maintains he did nothing wrong with the March 2010 meeting minutes, said he was pleased the board can now move on to more substantive business.

"I think the board has significant issues to deal with and that our time is better spent on them rather than on things with no merit," he said.

Board member Rich Bokor, who initiated the 4-3 vote to launch an investigation, said the report also concluded the board's method of approving meeting minutes -- Chapman regularly gets a draft before the rest of the board -- is an accepted practice.

"I am very happy that there was no evidence of tampering or unethical behavior on the part of the board president," Bokor said.

Board member Sue Quinn, whose claims that Chapman unethically tried to revise her motion were at the center of the debate, said it's no surprise the president was cleared because key materials she submitted to Loizzi were left out of the report.

She's upset taxpayer dollars were used to pay Loizzi's $265 hourly fee to investigate something she said is an ethical, not legal, issue.

Quinn also was shocked to learn the report found Chapman "routinely" revises board minutes. She said she will make a motion Wednesday to bar the board president from reviewing or revising minutes before the rest of the board sees them.

"If the board wishes to operate in a way that the board president has free reign to alter the official minutes of the meeting, up to and including changing the motions made at the meeting, then they will at least be on the record as wanting to operate that way," Quinn said.