Mott Community College trustees delay decision to hire new board attorney
FLINT, MI – Mott Community College trustees failed to start the process to hire a new board attorney during a special meeting today after an hour-and-a-half discussion.
Trustees eventually decided to take the issue to a future committee meeting to learn more about the legal counsel procurement process.
However, several board members felt that the original plan was not representative of the full board and gave too much power to Everman.
Before Trustee John Daly motioned and eventually gained support to change the agenda, Everman would have been able to select the interim attorney and begin the Request For Proposal process himself.
“The board attorney, interim or not, is supposed to represent the board – the full board,” Daly said.
Daly challenged the ruling of the chair, where Everman said Daly was making an illegal motion to change the agenda, which resulted in a 4-3 vote in support of Daly’s adjustment.
The agenda changes resulted in two separate votes: One to instruct the college to immediately put out an RFP to hire a new board attorney and one to put the interim attorney appointment up to the full board.
The first vote – to instruct the college to send out an RFP and start the process for a new board attorney – failed 4-3 with Jeffrey Swanson having the swing vote. Everman, Janet Couch, Wendy Wolcott and Swanson voted against.
Swanson said during trustee comments that the board should be in charge of the procurement, which is why he voted against.
Trustee Michael Freeman explained that the hiring is still approved by the board after the RFP process is over with. The only difference in this motion is that the college’s staff will complete the RFP rather than the board.
The second vote – to put the interim attorney’s appointment before the full board rather than just the board chair – passed unanimously.
Trustees ousted the former legal counsel with a 4-1 vote on Monday, April 24. Trustee Art Reyes was the opposing vote. Trustees Michael Freeman and John Daly were not in attendance.
Reyes said it was “unsettling” to oust the former board attorney without conducting an investigation into any wrongdoings at the April meeting. Board chair Andy Everman said he conducted his own investigation and he “pocket vetoed” any further investigation.
Former legal counsel Amberly Brennan told the board at a January meeting that any decisions made outside of a public meeting could be seen as an Open Meetings Act violation after Everman, Janet Couch, Jeffery Swanson and Wendy Wolcott were all accused.
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