The WakeEd blog is devoted to discussing and answering questions about the major issues facing the Wake County school system. How will the new student assignment plan balance diversity, stability, proximity and stability? How will Jim Merrill replace Tony Tata as the new superintendent of the state's largest district? How will voters react to a $810 million school construction bond referendum on Oct. 8 ballot? How will this fall's school board elections impact the future of the district?

WakeEd is maintained by The News & Observer's Wake schools reporter, T. Keung Hui. While Keung posts information and analysis on the issues, keep us posted on your suggestions, questions, tips and what you're doing to cope with the changes in Wake's schools.

Choose a blog

Keith Sutton voicing displeasure over release of confidential Wake County superintendent search info

Bookmark and Share

Wake County school board chairman Keith Sutton is voicing his displeasure about how closed-session details of the superintendent search were leaked to the public.

Former school board chairman Ron Margiotta said he had heard that James Merrill was the 5-4 choice over Ann Clark. Sutton said during his board comments today that he was "very disappointed" that closed-session information was shared with the public and wants to investigate how they can have repercussions for future breaches of confidentiality.

Sutton said release of the information was a violation of the oaths that the board members took.

"That breach of confidentiality is something I take very seriously and something that the board should take seriously," Sutton said. "I want the community to know that I take it very seriously."

Sutton said he's asked the board's policy committee and legal counsel to look at ethics policy to see what steps can be taken to provide some measure of accountability to make sure an act like this doesn’t happen again.

Sutton said actions could include public censure or public reprimand. Sutton said he'd support something that would allow the board "to penalize to the fullest extent possible, even a fine."

State law no longer lets school boards remove members.

Margiotta says he didn't get the info from board members, which would indicate he got it from people who were involved in the discussions.

1372208081 Keith Sutton voicing displeasure over release of confidential Wake County superintendent search info The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.


I'm not convinced a Board member leaked this info. Sutton is reacting too over the top...as if to divert the attention. I bet he's got a leak on staff -- or someone in GSIW is a traitor. It's happened before. :)

Leak info was almost 100%

Only missed vote count, said it was 5-4, when it really was 7-2.

No. It was 5-4 in closed

No. It was 5-4 in closed session. What happened is two of the people who backed Clark voted for Merrill in public as part of an effort to show solidarity behind the new superintendent.

Not likely

Not likely that someone in GSIW would leak anything to Ron M. folks, unless we're talking about a different organization than the one currently in Wake. I think Ron M. and GSIW are far from friends. You can't blame GSIW for everything, though folks on this forum sure do try. It was probably someone much closer to Ron - one of your friends Sideburns, or others.


LOL. As I've said before, you'd be surprised who talks to Margiotta.

Perhaps my friends are pretending to be your friends. Funny how that works, huh?

someone in GSIW is definitely a traitor

When Diana and Kevin were talking smack about me someone spoofed the email to me anonymously. I called Kevin and asked if he has sent me an email, he said no, then I sent he and Diana an email in response to their crappy comments.
So yes, it was likely one of them, these emails constantly fall into the wrong hands.
Keith needs to be open and honest about this whole process, it was clearly not above board. When a process is tainted it is tainted. Period. IMO it is not simply about someone forwarding an email, it is about legitimacy. This county spent taxpayer money and it was completely rigged. There was never any intention of interviewing and finding the best candidate. Is that legal? They went through the motions but this was a very public sham.
I don't trust them.

I Hope Sutton Will...

also look into the ethics of a sitting board member blind copying people not on the board in emails regarding board business. That just smells unethical to me!

I can't wait to see the

I can't wait to see the contract. Bob Sconce was right - there won't be any 'Moral Mondays' in the burbs. .. there will just be the silence of people voting with their feet and not showing up. The tipping point is dangerously close. We can thank Hill, Martin and Evans for this epic failure.

That is already happening.

That is already happening. My church, a large church located right in the middle of Wake County about a mile or so from the WCPSS offices, published a list of 67 high school graduates two weeks ago. Only 45% of those seniors graduated from WCPSS schools. Every year I look at the list and see Wake’s share drop. The majority of parents who care and can have already taken their kids out, and with more charter schools coming on line it will only get worse.


this is epic dysfunction. And this is probably the tip of the iceberg.

Tell Keith he has more to worry about than old news

He helped seal the deal that the bond will fail by hiring this "status quo" so-called leader.

Someone from this board should apologize to the kids of this school system. They have failed them again.

Keith's feelings are hurt and he says, "actions could include public censure or public reprimand".

Hahahahahahaha, go for it Keith "STFU" Sutton.

You couldn't pull that off on your best day.

Superintendent of the Year

It's hard to argue against hiring someone who has earned Superintendent of the Year in two different states over his career - NC and VA. Wow, a tried and truly successful leader. You would prefer someone with virtually no experience - like Tata? I'm thinking you want to destroy our school system FSandYou, so anything that can actually work or be good for the system, you'll fight against. I'm glad the board picked someone as highly qualified and successful as Merrill. Being superintendent of Wake shouldn't be someone's training job as it was for Tata. Granted, he tried hard, but he was in way over his head.

ask Kevin

what he calls these "of the year" awards.....


Oh, I'm dying to know. Do tell.

Merrill Made Be Qualified...

but how long do you honestly think he will be doing the job. With 40 years of experience I would expect he is close to retirement age. We need someone who can be a superintendent for the long haul and I don't believe Merrill will be. I suspect we will be looking for another superintendent in a few years!

BTW...Tata made so positive changes in 1 year! I personally will miss that kind of dedication going forward! Maybe he will be available when the board switches hands again! I hope Merrill is a visable as Tata was and will actually listen to the principals, teachers, and parents...not just GSIW!

Cars View All
Find a Car
Jobs View All
Find a Job
Homes View All
Find a Home

Want to post a comment?

In order to join the conversation, you must be a member of newsobserver.com. Click here to register or to log in.

About the blogger

T. Keung Hui covers Wake schools.