Judge orders Gloucester School Board to release audio of improper closed session
The Gloucester County School Board violated transparency laws when it held a closed meeting in 2021 to discuss “personnel matters” but instead talked about conflicts between board members, according to a local judge who ordered the county to pay $4,000 in legal fees and took the rare step of fining the board $250.
School Board member Darren Post, who has been criticized by some of his colleagues as a troublemaker and pot-stirrer, says he recorded the closed meeting on his phone after getting tired of being berated by fellow board members in private. That recording — made at the last School Board meeting of 2021 after two incumbents had lost reelection bids and felt Post was partially to blame — captured other board members accusing Post of spreading “lies,” questioning his education and calling him a “coward” and “pathetic human being.”
“You are sitting there with a shit-eating grin on your face, not even answering any questions,” someone said to Post, a comment he publicly attributed to current School Board member Robin Rice. Rice did not respond to requests for comment.
The audio, which the Virginia Mercury obtained through a public records request after the court ordered its release, offers an unusual glimpse into what went on in one closed meeting in one county. But many government watchers throughout Virginia suspect closed-meeting discussions often veer into topics that should be handled in the open.
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