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Clayton Valley Charter removes departed director from bank accounts, adds interim director

CLAYTON — The Clayton Valley Charter High School announced a new interim executive director to replace outgoing executive director David Linzey, though the board has twice declined to take any action on his and his wife’s resignation or firing.
On Monday afternoon, after nearly three hours in closed session, the Clayton Valley Charter High School governing board took no action on discipline or dismissal of a public employee, which marks the second time that an employee’s discipline or dismissal has been on the agenda for a special meeting.
CVCHS had previously held a special meeting on May 14 in which employee discipline or dismissal was to be discussed. After governing board members returned from a closed-door meeting, they announced that no action would be taken.
On May 15, the following day, after numerous requests for comment, CVCHS did issue a statement announcing that Dave Linzey would not be returning to the district. Further inquiries uncovered that his wife, Eileen Linzey, the chief program officer, was also not returning to the district. On Wednesday, the county office of education confirmed through CVCHS legal counsel that Ted Meriam, Chief Innovation Officer at CVCHS, had resigned from his position.
On Thursday, the Contra Costa County Office of Education sent a letter to CVCHS noting that David and Eileen Linzey, had left the school district. The county asked for documentation showing that the district has complied with the Brown Act. Kristy Downs, the chair of the governing board, has yet to answer whether the Linzeys have resigned or whether they have been fired.
After Monday’s closed session, the governing board, with no discussion, appointed Bob Hampton to be interim executive director. Downs described Hampton as “very well-known in the charter school world” and said that the board has had extensive discussions with him.
Downs would not indicate where Hampton had worked and governing board members would not speak with the press.
Compared with the lengthy closed-door session discussions, the five items on the open session portion of the agenda breezed by.
Without any discussion in open session, the board voted to remove David Linzey’s name as a signatory on a bank account. No further explanation was given as to what account this was and whose name was to be added to it. No governing board members questioned this action.
After being approached by a reporter after the meeting, Downs would only say that David Linzey was removed from the bank account because the school now had a new interim executive director. However, no action has been taken on the Linzey’s resignation or termination.
The agenda item to change the signatories on the bank account was also placed before the agenda item to approve the contract for a new interim executive director.
The board also declined to contract with a consultant to help in a transition to find a new executive director. The board also revised fiscal and operating policies that brought control for approving contracts back to the board.
In a letter to Downs and the CVCHS board on May 16, the county office of education called into question the school’s hiring practices and revised bylaws that appeared to consolidate Dave Linzey’s ability to hire and fire.
On Monday, the board also voted to “temporarily amend” the threshold for an executive director to pre-approve a contract. Previously, the executive director could pre-approve a contract up to $100,000, but that number was reduced to $25,000.
The letter included a reminder to CVCHS that it was not allowed to deny public records requests from the public for the contract of Assistant Superintendent Ron Leone.
CVCHS is also facing a forensic audit from the county, which instructed the school to preserve all financial documents.
When asked why no members of the board discussed any of the sensitive actions in public, Downs explained that the items were all discussed in closed session, then voted on without discussion in open session.
Check back for updates.

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