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School board votes to not ask for Green to pay court fees

Merrie Leininger

Douglas County School District board members said they wanted the “healing to begin” and voted not to seek attorney’s fees from teacher Randy Green.

The motion the board approved unanimously Tuesday night will still permit them to seek attorney’s fees if Green appeals the District Court ruling that Green could not serve on the school board and remain a teacher in Douglas County.

Green was elected by a wide margin to the DCSD board in November, saying he felt he could contribute to the process despite state statutes that say no one with a financial interest in board actions can serve as a board member. Green has been a Douglas High School teacher for 24 years.

It took three motions for the board to agree. The first motion would not ask for attorney’s fees in the District Court case unless Green files an appeal. The second motion, made by Keith Roman, would have made it impossible for the board to seek any court costs. That motion was not seconded by another board member. The third motion makes it clear the board will not seek any fees from the District Court case in any circumstances, however, the board may seek fees in the event of an appeal.

“I don’t hold (Green) faultless,” said board member George Echan. “It causes a great deal of grief that the district faces $15,000-$20,000 in a case that the judge determined there is nothing to support the position taken by Mr. Green. But, I really believe it is time to heal. We can’t continue what has bogged us down for the better part of a year. It’s really time to move on.”

New board member Jim Keegan said if Green files an appeal, he should pay for what could be a lengthy process before the state Supreme Court.

“I wish he was (sitting on the board now). I voted for him,” Keegan said. “The fact that he’s not here represents a penalty he has to suffer, but I’m also for accountability and if he goes forward with an appeal, knowing there is a good chance he will not win, he needs to be held accountable for that.”

Green told the board he has not decided if he would appeal but said he was leaning toward not appealing.

“My intention has never been to be an obstruction to the process. I’m not going to do things destructive to the kids in this district. I have to respect the opinion of Judge (Michael) Gibbons and (Douglas County District Attorney) Scott Doyle and that weighs heavily on my decision,” Green said.

n Filling a vacancy. The board directed district administrators to advertise for a board member to replace Green as soon as possible if he decides not to appeal. Green said he would make his decision as quickly as possible and let the district know.

If Green files an appeal, the seat cannot be considered vacant. There are seven members on a complete board. To replace a member between elections, the board would take letters of interest and then interview anyone interested in replacing Green.