Does the public have the right to know? Jordan-Elbridge School District

UPDATE 4:05 PM: The Jordan-Elbridge School Board will not stand in the way of the court ordered release of the superintendent's severance agreement. The attorney for the suspended assistant superintendent says the school board's attorney has notified him the board will not appeal Judge Donald Greenwood's decision on the Freedom of Information Law case.

That clears the way for the public release of the outgoing superintendent's agreement. Suspended Assistant Superintendent William Hamilton hopes this document will shed light on his own suspension and the removal of several other administrators from the district.

Original Story:

The mystery surrounding a shake-up among the top brass in the Jordan-Elbridge School District took a new turn Tuesday.

Superintendent Marilyn Dominick tells CNY Central's Jim Kenyon that the district's attorney is withholding the public release of her severance agreement because he's consulting with the school board about a possible appeal.

Four days ago, State Supreme Court Judge Donald Greenwood ordered the release of the severance agreement, siding with Assistant Superintendent William Hamilton who sought release of the document under the Freedom of Information Law. Greenwood ruled that Dominick's right to privacy did not apply.

Reached by phone, Hamilton, who was suspended with pay in July, said he hoped the Dominick's severance agreement would shed some light on the reasons for his suspension. Hamilton said he's "known Marilyn for seven years and she was out of character" the day he was dismissed.

Dominick, who was in Saratoga attending a conference of school superintendents, told Kenyon that she doesn't know why Hamilton would say she was "out of character." Dominick said she could not discuss why the school board wanted to terminate her contract two years early. "I wish I could understand it, but I don't." Dominick said "I was hoping to keep details I consider private, private." She said her regret was that "my community that I love so much will know something was wrong." Dominick did say there's "no big buyout...I'm not ashamed of it."

The Jordan Elbridge School District has been criticized by district residents over the secrecy surrounding a shakeup that began earlier this year involving four administrators and the district treasurer. Over the weekend a group of parents and taxpayers held a meeting to come up with requests for explanations from the school board.

The shake-up involves:

{>}{>}The suspension with pay of High School Principal David Zehner

{>}{>}The suspension with pay of Assistant Superintendent William Hamilton

{>}{>}The early retirement of Superintendent Marilyn Dominick two years before her contract was to run out.

{>}{>}The firing of District Treasurer Anthony Scro

{>}{>}The transfer of Elbridge Elementary School Principal Janice Schue to Special Projects Administrator