Over the years, we've covered hundreds of school board meetings. But last night's Harlem school board meeting was like no other. First member Gloria Maloney gets the boot, kicked out by her own board. Then she won’t leave, saying they'd have to pull her out, and that's exactly what happened, a deputy escorted Maloney out of the building.
In his 19 years as regional superintendent, Dr. Richard Fairgrieves has never seen anything like this.
"It's always been an option to go back into court to say I've been wronged, but to sit at the table, and just not move seems to me like a childish manner to be into," Fairgrieves said.
On Tuesday night, member Gloria Maloney was voted out by Harlem's School board, but didn't leave until after she was escorted out by a sheriff's deputy. The board's president says they have ample evidence Maloney lived primarily outside district boundaries at this home in Janesville, Wisconsin. Fairgrieves believes the board was justified in their decision.
"I feel that it was proper, that they had six board members to justify the evidence that they had. I don't know what that evidence was, but what they had was sufficient, that she was no longer had an inhabitance in the district," Fairgrieves said.
So we move from Janesville, Wisconsin, where her husband is listed, to Maloney's other residence in Machesney Park, where as you can see behind me, there are plants in the front yard, Halloween decorations in the window, and cars in the driveway.
Maloney told reporters last night she is not in violation since she splits time between the two homes. What's unknown now is whether Maloney will sue the Harlem School board. Fairgrieves says Maloney would have to file an injunction - and if the evidence is in her favor - a judge could decide to bring her back to the board room.
"Could reinstate her, right, and say she's been a resident, has been a resident all the time, and she could stay on the board or he could say no, that's not the case," Fairgrieves said.
Gloria Maloney could not be reached for comment. It’s unknown whether she'll take legal action against the Harlem School Board. Speaking of the board, its president announces today that Harlem’s district is taking applications for Maloney’s replacement.
The deadline to submit an application is at four p.m. on Monday, October 17. The board will interview prospective candidates on Tuesday, October 18. They'll appoint a candidate at a special board meeting on October 19 at 5:30 p.m. Candidates must reside within the boundaries of Harlem’s consolidated school district.