Mancos Marshal Yvonne McClellan arrested school board member Beverly Scott, formerly Beverly Humiston, at the board’s monthly meeting Monday night.
“She was arrested for refusing to leave when asked to do so by the school board president,” Marshal John Cox said.
Scott was taken to jail and charged with public buildings trespass and interference. She bonded out of jail Monday. The bond amount wasn’t available.
During the meeting, Scott was responding to a public rebuke, known as a censure, that accused her of bullying, intimidating and harassing administrative and support staff. She was asked to leave, and when she refused, she was placed in handcuffs.
The censure cited an exchange between Scott and district secretary Theresa Titone and business manager Susan Doudy. During the June 30 board meeting, Scott asked why her questions from a previous meeting had not been included in the minutes. The document censuring Scott said she had “spoke disparagingly” of the staff.
In her response, Scott said she didn’t feel that she was being unreasonable by asking that her questions to be included in the minutes.
The censure also rebuked Scott for waiting until the last minute to ask about the district hiring a principal for the middle and high schools, and for calling the budget top-heavy. It also stated that she was antagonistic for complaining that the board meeting had been rescheduled. She had said she’d appreciate it if the board would stick to its schedule of meeting on the third Monday of the month.
After citing these actions, the board resolved that Scott should stop her criticism.
Scott told the board that she believed it had broken open-meeting laws by making the decision to censure her outside of a public meeting.
“I’m very disappointed in the rest of the board, the secretary, and the superintendent for not calling me to discuss this matter rather than filing a censure. Citizens are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty,” she said.
Board president Monty Guiles asked Scott only speak about the censure after she made the open-meetings allegation. She went on to say Guiles has been rude to her during meetings.
Guiles interrupted her response several times and asked her to address the censure and then asked her to leave several times before she was arrested.
After the meeting, Guiles said decorum should be upheld in public meetings.
“There was no other recourse,” he said.
Scott said in an interview that she was innocent and Guiles had not allowed her to defend herself.
“To keep interrupting me was unprofessional and uncalled for,” she said.
After Scott left, the board voted 4-0 in favor of the public rebuke. Scott will not lose board privileges.
“There’s no teeth to speak of. It’s just a request,” said Guiles.
Several members of the public asked about the open-meetings allegation. Guiles denied the allegation, saying that there had been no decision until the vote tonight.
Members of the audience pointed out the board did not discuss the censure publicly, which could lead people to believe they had discussed it privately.
Bruce Scott and others questioned why his wife’s comments couldn’t be recorded.
Guiles said that for Scott to direct staff about how to take board minutes was outside her authority.
Gina Roberts said that complete minutes would provide a better record for residents, since recordings of board meetings are only retained for 90 days.
“If it’s not in the minutes, it’s really hard for stuff to be reviewed and reflected back on without emotions,” she said.
Tim Hunter, a former school board member, told the board he felt that the censure was appropriate and Scott’s comments were in poor taste.
This is the third time that Scott has been censured.
Two censures read at a meeting in February 2013 stated that she used discriminatory language at a board meeting and spoke about school personnel matters to people who weren’t on the board. Scott denies both claims.
The board directed Hanson not to provide Scott any personnel information as a result of one censure. The previous two censures have not been lifted.
Scott said that she will not be leaving her board post because she has done nothing wrong.