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SJSD Responds to Second Sunshine Law Violation Claim

Its been confirmed that the St. Joseph School District Board of Education discussed an upcoming state audit during a closed, executive session. Some people believe discussion should have been in a public forum
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.)  The St. Joseph School District is denying what some say might be another possible Sunshine Law violation.

This comes after two separate state agencies have said they'll look into the operations at the district office.

The Missouri Attorney General's office last week said it would investigate possible Sunshine Law and records violations. Wednesday, the district confirmed the Missouri State Auditor's office is requesting to complete an audit.

KQ2 has confirmed that during a two-hour closed meeting with its attorney on Monday, board members were informed in secret of the upcoming audit. Because Superintendent Dr. Fred Czerwonka cited personnel reasons for closing the meeting according to Sunshine Law, some say the talk of an audit was not appropriate.

When asked immediately after the meeting if there was any news or any actionable items as a result of the closed session, Board President Dan Colgan said no.

In an interview, Colgan said at the time that the board was not intentionally breaking Sunshine Laws.

"It's never been our intent and we've had counsel with us at each of our executive sessions who is really the referee," Colgan said. "He's the person that tells us what we can and can not talk about. To my knowledge, we have not violated those policies."

The Attorney General's office has not detailed when they'll investigate the first Sunshine Law claim brought forward by an employee last week.

As of Thursday evening, there had not yet been any official complaint made from the Monday incident.

A representative from the State Auditor's office will be in St. Joseph on April 10th to outline their process for moving forward with an audit.
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