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Laura Slack Feels that Ed Fox Owes Her An Apology

Laura Slack wants an apology from Board Member Ed Fox to her and to the entire School Board of Education.

Laura Slack, Rye City School Board of Education President/Patch File Photo
Laura Slack, Rye City School Board of Education President/Patch File Photo
The following is a statement that has been issued by Rye City School Board of Education President, Laura Slack.

This morning, prior to a vote to accept a settlement with the second of four teachers who have been reassigned pending an ongoing investigation into testing irregularities, Board of Education member Ed Fox made a number of outrageous allegations without one shred of proof that anything unethical or improper occurred. These allegations are not true.

The Board was fully informed and properly acted in approving the settlement, and I, as Board of Education President, have acted in compliance with my ethical responsibilities under Board Policy 2160 and have, at all times, conducted myself with propriety. Mr. Fox owes me and the rest of the Board of Education an apology.

Ben January 27, 2014 at 06:27 PM
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!! Oh, wait. She's SERIOUS??!?!?! Hey Laura, if you don't like people saying you are slimy then maybe, I dunno, don't be so slimy. Just a thought.
Ben January 27, 2014 at 06:31 PM
Oh wow, I just keep re-reading this because it is TOO GOOD!! "outrageous allegations" You mean the ALLEGATION that YOUR HUSBAND was appointed to the city council??? That OUTRAGEOUS ALLEGATION?!?!? And the ALLEGATION that the mayor's wife brokered this deal?!??! That FACT, I mean ALLEGATION?? Wow. You are as delusional as you are corrupt and vile. Honestly, how do you live with yourself?? Have you no pride? Have you no shame? Have you no morals?
dita von struedel van trappyodel January 27, 2014 at 06:41 PM
And so, the corruption and scandal at all levels of Rye Government continue. I guess the French double star exemption was just a warm up for the kinds of things we can expect out of the Sack/Slack leadership going forward.
Debbi Porterfield January 27, 2014 at 07:02 PM
Rye is fortunate to have civic-minded citizens like Rich and Laura who volunteer their time to help improve our schools and city. More important, they both have demonstrated the kind of integrity our community needs right now. While it's perfectly fine to disagree on issues, there's no need to take cheap shots at people who give so much back to our community. BTW: I have a hard time taking seriously comments by someone who goes by the name smellypants. Seriously? Is that the best you can do?
Committee for Election Equality January 27, 2014 at 07:15 PM
Ms. Slack, when did Kerry Ann Law begin her representation of Gail Topel notwithstanding the Administration's directive to reassigned teachers to refrain from speaking to parents of students in their class? Did you know that the Administration had directed reassigned teachers to refrain from speaking to parents of students in their class? As President of the BOE, do you regularly condone defiance of the directives of the Administration? When did Richard Slack's name first appear as a possible appointed candidate for Rye City Council? What was the date of your first conversation with Mayor Sack, if any, pertaining to appointing Richard Slack to the City Council? Do you know who were the other candidates and what were the criteria that was used to ultimately select Richard Slack for appointment to the City Council? When did you first have any conversations with Kerry Ann Law pertaining to the settlement of the case of Gail Topel, and to the best of your knowledge did Mayor Sack encourage, condone, or otherwise direct Kerri Ann Law to take up such representation? Have you seen the retainer agreement between Kerri Ann Law and Gail Topol or otherwise know if the representation was undertaken in Kerry Ann Law’s capacity as a Partner in Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP or whether it was pro bono work outside of her professional responsibilities, if that is at all permitted? To the best of your knowledge, and under the penalty of perjury which is more egregious than many other circumstances, did you direct, condone, or otherwise encourage BOE to approve the "sweetheart" deal for Kerry Ann Law's client in exchange for your husband's appointment to the Rye City Council? To the best of your judgment, do you think it was proper for an elected Mayor’s spouse to negotiate settlement with you as the BOE president, where your husband had just been appointed, or had planned on being appointing to the Rye City Council? When, upon information and belief, the settlement discussions between you and Kerri Ann Sack had been ongoing since early December 2013, was it purposeful to delay the vote on Ms. Topol’s settlement agreement until a proper time period between appointment to the City Council and the Board’s vote had passed? An answer to the aforementioned questions would go a long way towards protecting the sanctity of RCSD. Thank you.
Charmian Neary January 27, 2014 at 09:10 PM
Speaking of conflicts, if you look at who is whispering these accusations of a "sweetheart deal", then look at who hoped to run for, or be appointed to, that council seat, their motives for gossiping about Richard Slack will be clear. The fact is the Democratic Party did not field 3 candidates for council, nor did they find anyone to run for mayor. A "council seat" is not a hot commodity for which most people would trade away their good name. Richard Slack had to be persuaded to serve. I know this is true. By the same token, if Kerry Sack is the top notch attorney she's considered to be ( Joe has always maintained she's smarter—and I believe him ) why would she risk her good name, her husband's fledgling mayoralty, and even her law license, for a settlement of a case which affords her no benefit, other than perhaps gratitude? She's not looking to make partner. This is not Big Oil or Big Pharma. She can’t retire on the settlement. In short, even if you don’t assume the best intentions for Richard Slack and Kerry Sack, as I do, it’s still not worth it. There is no motive. They both are simply the working spouses of high profile individuals and as such their behavior is more closely scrutinized. Ed Fox sees the existence of a relationship as a conflict. I don't know if a court would agree. My gut tells me it's not, and I know there is case law which has allowed much closer relationships to stand in small communities. What I mean is, in small towns, you can't NOT know the judge, you can't NOT drink at the bar with the sheriff, and the courts have recognized that fact. I fully disclose that I know every single person involved in this latest "Grassy Knoll" scenario. Not only that, but I know who the sock puppets are on these blogs. ; ) Suffice it to say, Rye has its own SYBIL. Every town has one. C'est La Vie.
Bob Zahm January 27, 2014 at 09:49 PM
Charmian - are you trying to be rational?
Charmian Neary January 27, 2014 at 10:25 PM
Bob Rational, me? I'm a woman. How can I be rational? On the contrary my female intuition tells me that you miss seeing me on the playground, even though I eat your lunch. nom nom nom
dita von struedel van trappyodel January 27, 2014 at 11:12 PM
Charmian - who is Rye's SYBIL?
Anne McCarthy January 28, 2014 at 09:16 AM
The arrogance of power. No allegations were made. Ed Fox simply identified an appearance of impropriety that the public would have figured out in short order anyway. Mrs. Slack is an elected official. Questioning her compliance with District disclosure policies is absolutely reasonable. No apology necessary from Ed Fox.
Bob Zahm January 28, 2014 at 02:29 PM
@Anne - you are 100% - no allegations were made, but Ed's statement drew out possible implications (of a very tenuous nature) that were read by the offended individuals as allegations As a lawyer, Ed clearly knows the difference between making an allegation and stating a hypothetical situation. But he must also understand that stating a hypothetical situation - regardless of how extremely remote - is like yelling "Fire" in a crowded movie house.
Anne McCarthy January 28, 2014 at 04:53 PM
I guess we could debate whether "possibly a violation of Board policy and/or law, as well" is an allegation or part of a range of scenarios. Instead, let's stop shooting the messenger. Stop talking about Ed Fox. This is purely a question of disclosure on the part of Mrs. Slack. The 5 members of the Board of Education should tell us why they needed to approve this agreement yesterday (they just voted last week to extend the replacements) rather than table it so this disclosure issue can be vetted.
Bob Zahm January 28, 2014 at 09:23 PM
Sorry Anne, but you're wrong in terms of making this an issue about Mrs. Slack. Mr Fox's issue is one that should have been raised in executive session -- at a minimum, if he felt there was a problem he should have (don't know that he did / did not) approached Mrs. Slack about his concern when it could have been addressed. The tactic of surprising the other Board members, getting public stirred up, etc. does not appear to have been one intended to actually get a resolution to any theoretical issue.
Anne McCarthy January 28, 2014 at 09:46 PM
Bob, this won't be the first time we have to agree to disagree. You lose me at "theoretical issue". This is an actual appearance of impropriety.
Committee for Election Equality January 28, 2014 at 10:47 PM
Notwithstanding the occurrences at tonight's Board of Education meeting, the Committee for Election Equality continues to support the courageous statement and position of Ed Fox. Where there is any "appearance" of impropriety, the issue must come to a standstill until the matter has been fully vetted and most of the community's questions are answered to FACTUALLY determine whether there was or was not impropriety. Half of the Midland PTO standing up for Mrs. Slack is a nice to have, but a complete and unequivocal vetting of the issue would suit Mrs. Slack much better as, after all, this is not the Elk's Lodge, this is the Rye City School District. We continue to remind Rye Patch readers that we have made no accusations, the only demand is that Mehler and Coppola be offered the SAME deal as Topol to do with as they see fit, and we have asked a lot of questions still unanswered except for, upon information and belief, the fact that Councilman McCartney brought forth the name of Richard Slack, which still does not even come close to being a peripheral issue let alone getting to the coronary arteries of the matter. The fact that Councilman McCartney purportedly brought forth the name of Richard Slack sometime between November 6, 2013 and January 2, 2014 is of no moment here, as only Mayor Sack has that power of appointment.
Clarita Zeppie January 29, 2014 at 07:42 AM
Mrs. Slack's MO as seen in previous times and cases is to ask her cronies (Midland) to stand up and speak of her many contributions while denouncing her detractors. I do not think Mr. Fox was bashing Mrs. Slack in his remarks. As an attorney himself he was making it clear that the lack of transparency casts a shadow over the deal created for one teacher. Mr.Fox is right to protect the integrity of the Board and the district. Isn't it the job of the Board to act in a principled and ethical manner in resolving issues? Mr. Fox has pointed out that there are appearances of impropriety."Where there is smoke there is fire." I am ever hopeful that Rye citizens will live up to their own standards and look at this situation with a clear an unbiased eye. I am eager to see how the remaining 2 teachers are treated.
Bob Zahm January 29, 2014 at 10:13 AM
I'll leave you lot to continue commenting as you will, but based on the actual legal status, NYS Education Department involvement / oversight, and the comments made at the Board of Ed meeting last night by parents and by the city councilman who actually pursued Richard Slack for the city council, this issue is dead. You can act like grave robbers, but I don't think there'll be an overwhelming support for your comments or actions.
Anne McCarthy January 29, 2014 at 11:02 AM
I haven't had a chance to watch it yet Bob. I thought the President's State of the Union address was more important than this pep rally. What odd timing.
Charmian Neary January 29, 2014 at 03:45 PM
I haven't watched yet either, Anne. I was focused on the #SOTU as well. If you read my remarks on My Rye, you'll see that, although we disagree on this issue, I made a point of not focusing on Ed Fox, who is apparently standing on principle. At the same time, Ed's last name is appropriate. He knew the effect of his words. ; ) I wish this wasn't happening right now though. We need to be focused on Playland. There were some important developments in Monday's board meeting.
Rye Scorched January 29, 2014 at 06:01 PM
Nurse Ratched and her loyal loonies had group therapy last night? Hope it sated her pathological ego.
C E L February 12, 2014 at 02:37 PM
Whatever you believe on this matter, I'm just glad it's finally being discussed. There was so much silence about it for so long. Still never addressed properly to families like me who had a student so deeply affected by this situation.

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