Groton School Superintendent Paul Kadri and his lawyer have filed a complaint with the state’s Freedom of Information Commission saying the school board failed to comply with the Freedom of Information Act, according to a statement by Kadri and his lawyer.
In a statement to the press Wednesday, Kadri said he asked for e-mails of all board members and those identified in the investigative report involving him, starting on April 1, about a month before he was placed on leave.
Kadri was placed on paid administrative leave May 7, after an investigative report in which multiple employees accused him of abusive and threatening behavior. He later issued a response through his attorney, saying the allegations are untrue.
The statement released Wednesday said some documents Kadri asked for were provided, but the bulk of the information was withheld or key information was missing. Kadri and his lawyer filed the initial request for information on Aug. 29.
Board Chairwoman Kirsten Hoyt said the matter was being handled by the central office and school board attorney Floyd Dugas and she could not comment.
The statement said Kadri and his lawyer filed a formal complaint with the Freedom of Information Commission on Tuesday.
Kadri’s termination hearing with the school board is scheduled to begin before an independent arbitrator on Nov. 20. It is closed to the public.
Kadri’s lawyer, Gregg Adler said in the statement: “Mr. Kadri is a very detailed individual who has already been able to reproduce a significant amount of evidence needed for his hearing. However, there remains information in the possession of the Board that contradicts parts of the investigative report.
“Although this amount of information requested is large, Mr. Kadri included directions in his request that explained how most of the information could be extracted in less than an hour from the back-up systems that were put in place under his direction.”
Kadri said he was shocked when he first learned of the accusations, but believed they would be resolved in less than a week.
“However, when the Board placed me on leave on Monday, May 7, 2012 at the recommendation of the Board president and Board attorney, I was completely isolated from all information, I could not contact any district personnel, and I was not allowed to know the allegations against me. This left me highly suspicious that there was something else going on beyond a simple investigation,” Kadri said in the statement.
“Over the next several months, I was subjected to damaging leaks of false information from the Board in addition to threats and intimidation to get me to leave. I informed the Board in a letter of my concerns and requested to meet with them to discuss the situation. They refused to hear or investigate my concerns. The withholding of information is just another piece of evidence consistent with the Board’s actions to date,” Kadri said in the statement.
“There are two individuals that know the truth; me and my main accuser. The Board has led the public to believe that they are defending the community against a “bad superintendent”. If it is as simple as they portray, why are they continuing to withhold public information? When the community is allowed to know what I know, I think people are going to be shocked at the waste, sympathetic about the pain inflicted, and mad that simple procedures were not followed that would have caught any inappropriate actions very early in the process,” Kadri said in the statement.