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Douglas County School District board hires more lawyers in lawsuit alleging its majority violated open meetings laws

Former Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler is defending the board now

A Douglas County School District sign. (CCM photo)

This story first appeared in a Colorado Community Media newspaper. The Colorado Sun is an owner of CCM.

The Douglas County School District board has retained a second law firm in its defense against a lawsuit alleging the four board-majority members violated Colorado’s open meetings laws.

The board’s debate about whether to bring on more counsel also broached the majority’s desire to appeal a judge’s order that prohibits serial meetings, as the four directors maintain they followed Colorado law to the letter.

The engagement letter for the Greenwood Village based firm Gessler Blue Law, run by Geoff Blue and Scott Gessler, says its fees are normally $425 an hour but that it will charge DCSD $225 an hour for attorneys’ time and $150 to $175 for paralegal work.

Gessler, a Republican, is a former Colorado secretary of state. Blue is a former deputy attorney general in Colorado.

The board also retains that law firm of Hall and Evans, which had represented board directors in the lawsuit to date.

Douglas County resident Robert Marshall sued the board on Feb. 4 alleging directors Mike Peterson, Becky Myers, Christy Williams and Kaylee Winegar used a chain of private, one-on-one meetings to evade quorum requirements and plan the former superintendent’s removal.

A judge has issued a preliminary injunction in the case prohibiting the use of serial meetings or violations of Colorado open meeting law.


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