ALLEGHENY COUNTY (KDKA) — The normally quiet Fox Chapel School District has become a hotbed of controversy.
Explosive school board meetings, allegations of shredded documents and an independent investigation have turned the district upside down.
Now residents are complaining that the board has operated under a shroud of secrecy.
The alleged lack of transparency on spending and programs led to rumors on social media that the district shredded documents to avoid complying with a right-to-know request from a reporter.
That, in turn, prompted the hiring of a lawyer to investigate the claim.
And, on Monday night, he told the board he found no wrong-doing.
“The investigation was unable to identify any witness or any evidence that records were inappropriately shredded,” said Attorney Thomas Breth.
But the controversy did not end there.
Board member Edie Cook questioned the need for the investigation and the $10,000 needed to pay for it.
Board members also accused cook of stoking the controversy on her Facebook page.
“I would never say $10,000 a pittance or whatever this investigation ended up costing. But considering the scope of the allegations made and the important work we do here in this school district, it was money that needed to be spent,” said board member Eric Schmidt.
And out-going Superintendent Gene Freeman called for another investigation after he said Cook spread rumors that he had personally pressured staff to shed documents.
“You have now specifically put out that I have no pressured people to shred. You infringed upon my due process. I don’t think this has ended,” Freeman said.