Probe of city schools’ superintendent search could take weeks, Yost says

The Columbus Dispatch | Bill Bush

State Auditor Dave Yost says his probe into the Columbus Board of Education’s process of winnowing its list of superintendent candidates is aimed at determining whether the board made its decisions in public, or illegally “in the back room.”

“What the end game looks like depends on what we find, if anything,” Yost said Wednesday. “What we have right now are questions.”

The Dispatch reported Wednesday that Yost sent a letter to the seven-member school board Tuesday, saying he has “concerns that the process the Columbus City School District used to select a new superintendent may be in violation of” Ohio’s Open Meetings Act, which requires all official decisions to be made in public meetings.

The Dispatch reported in January and February that the board had seemingly made decisions on whom to interview and whom to eliminate from the nationwide search, despite having no public meetings on the topic.

If the board violated Ohio’s Sunshine Laws, intended to force public officials to do the public’s business in public, it would void any decisions made illegally, forcing the board to redo the superintendent search “ab initio,” or from the beginning, Yost’s letter said.

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