Douglas County School District Board Hires More Lawyers in Lawsuit Alleging Its Majority Violated Open Meeting Laws

This story first appeared in a Colorado Community Media newspaper. The Colorado Sun owns CCM.

The Douglas County School District Board retained a second law firm to defend against a lawsuit alleging the four majority board members violated Colorado’s open meeting laws.

The board’s debate over whether to bring in more lawyers also touched on the majority’s desire to appeal a judge’s order banning serial meetings, as the four directors say they followed up on the Colorado law.

The engagement letter from Greenwood Village-based Gessler Blue Law, run by Geoff Blue and Scott Gessler, says its fees are normally $425 per hour, but it will charge DCSD $225 per hour. for lawyers‘ time and $150 to $175 for paralegals’ work.

Gessler, a Republican, is a former Colorado secretary of state. Blue is a former Colorado deputy attorney general.

The board is also retaining that law firm Hall and Evans, which had represented the board directors in the lawsuit to date.

Douglas County resident Robert Marshall sued the board on Feb. 4, alleging that directors Mike Peterson, Becky Myers, Christy Williams and Kaylee Winegar used a chain of private one-on-one meetings to escape quorum requirements and plan for the removal of the former superintendent.

A judge has issued a preliminary injunction in the case barring the use of serial meetings or violations of Colorado’s open assembly law.

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