We were disappointed by your report in the Landmark regarding legal fees related to phone calls between the school district’s attorneys and the board president and board vice president (“Tentative deal on alleged Lamberson overpayments,” News).
Your March 3 article states that the “legal bills show frequent and sometimes lengthy phone conversations between [the board president and vice president]” and then goes on to cite a number of “examples.” The use of the “examples” is disingenuous in that you state that the phone calls lasted the length of the time billed.
As the school district expressly stated in its response to your FOIA request, such a conclusion is wholly inaccurate. The issue is not cured by the statement at the end of your article that some of the entries may have included other items related to the phone calls. As you were informed in the FOIA response, the entries included the phone calls, in some cases other work related to the subject matter of the phone call, and in some cases other work unrelated to the phone call.
To imply that either the board president or vice president is on the phone with the school district’s attorney for hours at a time a few days a week is wrong. This reporting provides a misleading and inaccurate portrayal of board communications with its attorneys.
The Riverside community expects fair and accurate reporting from the Landmark.
Mary Rose Mangia, president
Riverside District 96 Board of Education