Lawsuit calls for removal of Cuyahoga Heights school board member, alleges misconduct

Lawsuit calls for removal of Cuyahoga Heights school board member, alleges misconduct
Holly Thacker (Source: WOIO)

CUYAHOGA HEIGHTS, OH (WOIO) - Dozens of residents in the Cuyahoga Heights School District have filed a lawsuit to have school board member Dr. Holly Thacker removed from office.

The lawsuit alleges that Thacker, a previous school board president and doctor at the Cleveland Clinic, is "guilty of misconduct in office" and should be removed. The suit states that the court has the authority to remove Thacker from office, citing portions of the Ohio Revised Code that refer to issues like misconduct in office and removal from public office.

The nearly 200-page lawsuit ends with hundreds of signatures from voters in the district. The suit alleges Thacker has acted inappropriately in office over a variety of different issues, including that she allegedly altered public records, retaliated, and improperly used email. Other allegations of misconduct in the lawsuit include excessive use of executive session, violations of the open meeting act, suppression of public comment, moving public meeting times, and her alleged unauthorized and improper use of private email accounts.

Cleveland 19 was at several school board meetings in 2016 where residents were angered that public comment had been eliminated from the school board agenda. Thacker started many meetings with a reminder to those in attendance that board meetings were "a meeting of the board in public not a public meeting."

The suit also alleges that Thacker's actions "needlessly multiplied the legal expenses of the Board," costing the district "upwards of $315,000.00."

The district is still recovering from the theft of more than $3 million by former technology director Joseph Palazzo in 2012. Palazzo is serving time in a federal prison for his crimes.

Cleveland 19 has reached out to Thacker, as well as to district superintendent Tom Evans, for comment on the lawsuit but has received no response.

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