Black Diamond trustee dropped from public board
Education: Jeannine Tucker disqualified due to conflict of interest
Thursday, Dec 07, 2017 10:58 am
Foothills School Division trustees voted to disqualify the Black Diamond representative from the board due to a financial conflict of interest.
A motion to relieve Ward 1 trustee Jeannine Tucker was passed at the trustees’ public meeting on Dec. 6 in High River.
“We had a lawyer inform us there was a conflict of interest — a pecuniary interest — the lawyer suggested the interest would lead to disqualification,” said Foothills chairperson Larry Albrecht.
Tucker, who represented residents from Longview to Turner Valley, was the vice-chairperson of the board at the time of the disqualification. She was the lone member of the six-person board with experience being a trustee prior to the October municipal election.
As well as her trustees’ duties, Tucker runs the small cafeteria at Oilfields High School in Black Diamond.
Albrecht would not comment as whether her work at Oilfields was related to the pecuniary conflict.
“It’s a legal issue in terms of the school act determines what is required for a trustee to go through the nomination process,” Albrecht said.
Tucker was starting her second term, after defeating long-time Ward 1 trustee Jerry Meaner in 2013. She defeated Heather Pfeil in the 2017 October election.
Albrecht would not comment on specifics but said the difference between the present term and the last term was, “it differs in that the matter was raised and the legal counsel came and spoke to us.”
A byelection to replace Tucker will be held, but no date has been set.
Albrecht said in the meantime the remaining trustees will fill in the duties for the schools and committees Tucker was representing.
“We obviously believe that every school has a trustee assigned and the committees have to be represented as well,” Albrecht said. “We will be looking at that at our next meeting.”
Albrecht said the board will continue to be a strong one despite losing its lone experienced trustee.
“Yesterday we were a very strong board and tomorrow we will be a strong board,” Albrecht said. “We have continued to learn and we draw on all the resources of the staff and the executive to guide us through as well.”
Although there is no trustee experience among the five remaining trustees, four of them are former teachers. They are Bill Young, Sharon Nichols, Theresa Letendre and Albrecht.
The High River trustee, Jennifer Kristiansen, has volunteered at schools in her High River ward.
Letendre was selected to replace Tucker as FSD vice-chairperson at the Dec. 6 meeting.
Tucker was not available for comment.
Following is the official release from the division:
Foothills School Division recently received a legal opinion that stated trustee Jeannine Tucker has a conflict of interest that would disqualify her from fulfilling her duties as a School Board Trustee.
The Board passed a motion at the Dec. 6 board meeting declaring that Jeannine Tucker is disqualified from remaining on the board of trustees owing to a pecuniary interest and that Ward 1 of the Board be declared vacant.
The remaining trustees will be sharing Ms. Tucker’s duties. Trustees consider the interests of all students when they come together to make decisions for Foothills School Division.
Out of respect for the process and Ms. Tucker’s privacy, we will not divulge specific information.