Douglas refuses to attend Board of Ed meeting

Posted at 6:31 PM, Sep 15, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-15 21:31:19-04

The Arizona Board of Education has voted to sue Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas if she continues to refuse to give remote access to board investigators.

Douglas refused to attend Tuesday’s meeting, accusing the Board President, Greg Miller, of being unable to control his temper.

In August, the state schools chief filed a complaint against Miller with the Department of Public Safety, accusing him of assaulting her at a Board meeting.

Douglas has been at odds with the Board since February, when she fired two executive Board employees.

When the Governor reinstated them to their positions, Douglas sued the Board over her authority to carry out the firings. The judge ruled against her, though, and now she is appealing that decision.

Now, the state board has moved out of the Department of Education into the Governor’s Tower – including board investigators who look into accusations made against teachers.


Douglas has not allowed those investigators remote access to teacher information without going to the Department of Education building to get it.

But, the Board voted unanimously Tuesday to sue Douglas if she continues this policy.

Douglas' spokesman, Charles Tack, says no one gets remote access to the records the board seeks because they contain sensitive personal and student information.

Douglas released a statement Tuesday saying that Miller has turned the board meetings into bi-monthly publicity stunts used to advance his own agenda.

“The real legal issues will be decided in the courts," she said.  

Miller told ABC15 he thinks her attacks on him are politically motivated.

“I’m one of the major obstacles in the battle,” he said, “So, I felt like it was a direct attack.”

Miller said he did not assault her or grab her arm, as she is claiming. He said he moved her microphone away when she spoke out of turn at a board meeting, and may have bumped her arm with his.

When he heard about the complaint filed with DPS, he said, “I laughed, because I thought it was so foolish.”

“It’s a really unfortunate waste of time, energy and resources,” he said.

The board also voted Tuesday to demand Douglas redirect web traffic to the board's new website and to sue if she doesn't.