Attorneys for former Superintendent Corey Wise have contacted the Douglas County School District seeking scores of records and issuing the district’s general counsel “notice of your duty to preserve evidence” related to Wise’s firing ahead of potential lawsuits over the controversy.
In a letter dated Feb. 18 obtained by Colorado Community Media, the firms of Allen Vellone Wolf Helfrich & Factor P. C. and Rathod | Mohamedbhai LLC wrote to DCSD’s General Counsel Mary Kay Klimesh, saying they represent Wise “with respect to the termination of his employment” with the district.
Colorado Community Media has reached out to a district spokeswoman seeking comment from Klimesh.
Wise was controversially fired on Feb. 4 after allegations that a conservative school-board majority plotted to oust him behind closed doors. He was terminated without cause in a 4-3 vote during which Directors Mike Peterson, Becky Myers, Christy Williams and Kaylee Winegar said he was not leadership material, had undermined them as directors and mismanaged the district’s masking policies, among other concerns.
They also questioned his involvement in the district’s lawsuit against the Douglas County Health Department and have been vocal critics of how the district’s educational equity policy was implemented during his time in DCSD.
Directors David Ray, Susan Meek and Elizabeth Hanson condemned removing Wise, who they said was a beloved superintendent.
Community member Robert Marshall has also filed suit against majority directors and the school board alleging open meeting law violations preceded Wise’s firing.
Wise’s attorneys Jordan Factor and Qusair Mohamedbhai have requested district records of board directors’ communications on a range of issues.
Those span from the district’s equity policy, DCSD’s previous lawsuit against the Douglas County Health Department, discussons about charter school director Erin Kane — whom two directors have expressed support for as Wise’s replacement — and any records of conversation about terminating Wise or his job performance.
In their letter, Wise’s attorneys included a “non-exhaustive list” of evidence related to Wise’s termination that they say should be preserved. The list begins with records in which newly-elected directors discussed Wise during their political campaigns.
It also includes records in which his job performance is discussed, referencing the ultimatum he was allegedly given to resign or be fired, discussions about the equity policy, and record of discussions about the district’s COVID-19 policies such as masking. The attorneys also asked to preserve documentation of Wise’s stance on topics related COVID-19 and educational equity.
Added to the list were records in which the majority directors discuss or refer to the 1776 Project or other financial benefactors of their campaigns.
Attorneys also sought to protect records that delve into issues such as critical race theory, the racial demographics of students, book banning, history lessons and revising curriculum.
The letter also cautions that destruction of any records which could become evidence in a lawsuit regarding Wise’s firing “would be legally sanctionable.”
Colorado Community Media has reached out to Factor and Mohamedbhai for further comment.