By: Suzie Glassman/NewsBreak Denver
(Castle Rock, CO) The conservative nonprofit DougCo Protective recently said they're thrilled to finally have a transcript of former DougCo superintendent Corey Wise's recording while meeting with board directors Mike Peterson and Christy Williams.
"What the evidence shows is that Wise was given the chance to succeed as superintendent by the new board but he undermined the new board, held secret meetings behind their back, and secretly recorded their meeting," writes the unknown author.
Rather than proving Peterson and Williams perjured themselves on the stand during a January 28 court hearing, the group claims the audio vindicates the directors since they didn't decide to fire him that morning.
"Even if some members were clearly leaning toward taking action on Wise, including possible termination for cause given his insubordination, there was no board action," says the author.
The group also says Robert Marshall, who filed the lawsuit claiming the board violated Colorado's open meetings laws, is a public nuisance abusing "the system with frivolous lawsuits that have achieved very little."
What the audio says
Williams says, "Meetings have occurred that probably shouldn't have occurred without at least (Peterson) knowing. I know a lot of things that happened…we believe we have enough for cause. That's not the direction we want to go."
Williams doesn't offer proof of her allegations, but Peterson and Wiliams tell Wise they've spoken with attorney Will Trachman about his contract.
Peterson and Williams claimed under oath they had not decided to fire Wise until the board voted during a public meeting on February 4. Instead, they insist they gave Wise options about his future with the district.
Williams tells Wise, "at this point, there's so much going on, we have to move in a different direction." And Williams acknowledged that Wise's options were to resign, retire, or be fired.
Peterson also says in Wise's recording that the four board members are "absolutely committed to moving in a new direction."
Where Marshall's lawsuits stand
Since the March 9 ruling ordering a preliminary injunction against the DougCo board for violating Colorado open meeting laws, Judge Jeffrey K. Holmes denied a motion to dismiss the case. The judge also granted two motions by the district's attorneys, Gessler and Blue, asking for more time to respond to the court ruling.
Public documents filed in June show the defendants (Peterson, Williams, Becky Myers, and Kaylee Winegar) demand a jury trial.
Marshall's other lawsuit against the district claims board members are violating Colorado’s open records act by refusing to release training documents received during a retreat in Estes Park before the members took office.
Holmes granted a continuance last week, allowing attorneys more time to prepare their case.
About DougCo Protective
Gwen Benevento, attorney at Maven Law Group, filed articles of incorporation for a nonprofit on behalf of DougCo Protective with the Colorado Secretary of State in early April. It's unclear who leads the organization or writes the articles posted on the group's site.
The group promises to "protect and preserve" conservative values in Douglas County. They also call for donations and volunteers to "protect our conservative leaders from frivolous lawsuits, defend democracy at a local level through our elections, and have our voices heard through other means than the liberal media deciding when to share our stories."
Benevento is married to Doug Benevento, president of the Douglas County Board of Health and former DCSD board director. The Board of Health recently settled a lawsuit with the DougCo board of education, allowing for a one-time payment of $90,000 to hire a Psychological Safety Coordinator and dropping the order that the Board of Health must pay the district's attorneys' fees.