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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Janssen explains call to Hillsborough attorney



Pinellas County superintendent Julie Janssen says she called Hillsborough County school board attorney Tom Gonzalez on Wednesday for advice because Pinellas' board attorney was on vacation.

We reported in today's St. Petersburg Times that Janssen called Gonzalez to find out if Thursday's meeting with board members on her job performance could be held in private. (See the e-mail that generated that story at the bottom this blog post.)

In an office voice mail message left with this reporter at 7:43 p.m. Monday, Janssen stated that she had found a statute that she believed indicated the meeting could be held behind closed doors.

Pinellas school board attorney Jim Robinson was on vacation, she said, so she called Gonzalez, who is considered an authority in Florida education law and who the school board and Robinson occassionally call on themselves.

Janssen said she didn't call Robinson's associate attorneys, David Koperski or Laurie Dart because, "Quite frankly, it didn't cross my mind."

"I wasn't questioning anyone," Janssen said. "I just hadn't heard definitively how it was going to be."

Janssen and the board are expected to discuss Janssen's job performance during a public workshop at 9 a.m. Thursday at the district's headquarters in Largo. Though public, the workshop format means the school board will not take any public comment nor will it take any votes.

[Last modified: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 10:31am]


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