August 17, 2022

ROCORI School Board held closed meeting about district business manager

COLD SPRING — The ROCORI School Board held a closed meeting March 28 to discuss the preliminary consideration of allegations or charges against ROCORI business manager, Beth Downes. 

On Friday, an attorney with the district told the St. Cloud Times the status of the allegations or charges is “closed” and there was no disciplinary action imposed nor will there be additional meetings addressing these allegations or charges.

Under Minnesota Statutes Section 13D.05, subd. 2(b), “A public body shall close one or more meetings for preliminary consideration of allegations or charges against an individual subject to its authority. If the members conclude that discipline of any nature may be warranted as a result of those specific charges or allegations, further meetings or hearings relating to those specific charges or allegations held after that conclusion is reached must be open.”

More:ROCORI school board puts superintendent on paid leave until resignation takes effect

In February the ROCORI school board placed former Superintendent Brad Kelvington on paid administrative leave, a week and a half after he resigned.

In response to a Minnesota Freedom of Information Act request from the St. Cloud Times, an attorney for the school district said there are no complaints or charges against Kelvington, current or past, that exist regardless of whether the complaint or charge resulted in disciplinary action.

The school district also said there was no disciplinary action taken against Kelvington and there are no terms of any agreement settling a dispute arising out of an employment relationship, including a buyout agreement as defined in Minnesota Statute section 123B.143, subdivision 2, paragraph (a).

Kelvington’s resignation and leave came as a Cold Spring family filed a federal lawsuit against the ROCORI school district in January on behalf of two of their children, alleging the district violated the children’s civil rights by “deliberate indifference and failure to respond to multiple acts of racial harassment and discrimination.” 

More:Cold Spring family sues ROCORI School District, says it did not address racism, harassment

ROCORI school board chair Jennifer Bohnsack told the St. Cloud Times in February Kelvington’s resignation is not related to the lawsuit.

Becca Most is a cities reporter with the St. Cloud Times. Reach her at 320-241-8213 or Follow her on Twitter at @becca_most

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