Superintendent resigns from GCSEC seat
BY KRIS STADALSKY Correspondent September 6, 2013 2:40PM
Minooka High Supt. James Colyott
Updated: September 6, 2013 2:40PM
Minooka Community High School District 111 Supt. Jim Colyott said he is resigning from the executive board of the Grundy County Special Education Cooperative because of a potential conflict of interest, but he will retain his seat on the cooperative’s governing board.
The District 111 board voted 5 to 1 Thursday night to request Colyott’s resignation from the GCSEC executive board.
Questions arose about possible conflicts of interest after Michelle Mullen, a tenured teacher with the special-education cooperative, was elected to the District 111 board in April. Colyott is one of five voting members on the GCSEC executive board.
“What we are trying to do is to avoid (having Colyott) voting on things that pertain to Michelle,” District 111 board President Mike Brozovich said.
Another conflict-of-interest issue is that Mullen teaches some District 111 students at GCSEC. Mullen has been abstaining from any votes pertaining to the cooperative and District 111 students at her school.
District 111 board member Chris Kobe wanted assurances that Colyott’s resignation would resolve at least the issue involving him. Brozovich said that District 111 attorney Jack Canna and a second attorney both supplied written opinions stating that Mullen teaching district students was a less significant conflict.
“The major part of the conflict is the fact that Mr. Colyott sits on the executive board and Michelle sits on this board, which indirectly puts them under a reporting structure,” Brozovich said.
Brozovich previously called for Colyott to “do the right thing” and step down from the GCSEC executive board, at least until a legal opinion was received from the attorney general’s office, which could take up to a year.
At that time, Colyott said he preferred not to step down. He said having the position was one of his duties as superintendent and that he wanted to look into the matter, which has divided the board for months.
After Thursday’s meeting, Colyott wrote in a statement, “I will be happy to comply with the request of the board of education and provide the resignation from the GCSEC Executive Board. I am also thrilled to be able to continue on the GCSEC Governing Board and represent the Minooka Community High School District 111.”
The governing board consists of 12 superintendents, one from each of the member school districts.