LETTER: Board should force Chinn to prove his case

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According to a recent news article, Bruce Chinn will be paid $37,800 for vacation time not used by him. The article clearly indicated that liability for this debt was questionable, but Dr. Gene Ress, Mack Cail and Larry Kleeman agreed to pay the full amount.

If the debt was questionable, why was it not negotiated rather than paid in full? I recently discussed the matter with Mack Cail. His immediate response was that “we would have lost the case and it would have cost us $100,000 to defend it.”

Simply remarkable! He acted as judge and jury even when the facts were clearly disputable.

Either he has extensive legal experience or the facts didn’t get fully reported.

Mack continued to refer to the pay stub entry in defense of his position. Did any board member insist on seeing the contract that extended this benefit to Chinn?

What were the terms? When and who signed it? Did the school employee have authority to enter into such a contract?

During the conversation, Mack referred to the various positions Chinn held throughout his career, including as a teacher. Mack cited the teacher contract as part of his reasoning, assuming it provided payment for vacation days.

In fact, the teacher contract has never contained vacation days. He appeared quite surprised to hear this.

Now folks, this is the former president of your school board. The same person that is hoping you will re-elect him this November.

Chinn should be forced to produce the contract that gave him this benefit. Using the check stub entry as proof is thin evidence indeed. That could have been a clerical error that was never corrected by the superintendent or board. And, if true, how could it go on so many years without being noticed! Who signs his paycheck? Is anyone minding the store?

Mack finished by saying it “was a done deal.” If the entire matter is illegal, then the board should refuse to pay or claw back the payment if already made. Force Chinn to prove his case.

The board has a fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers to handle our money wisely.

Absent additional facts in this case, they have tossed $37, 800 down the drain.

Please remember this when you vote to reelect Cail and Ress this fall. We need backbone on the board, not cowardice.

Tell City