School board member Scott Marino said Monday he was denied his request that the board revisit the issue of paying for independent counsel for employees under investigation by the State Law Enforcement Division.

The board voted March 12 to pay for the lawyers, but in April became aware of a 1997 attorney general opinion that “a school district is without authority to pay a school board member’s or an employee’s expenses of representation in a criminal proceeding.”

Marino said School Board Chairman Doug Cooper has refused to put the issue on the agenda, even though several community members have also requested it. He wanted to discuss it in public session.

Cooper and the district maintain that the employees acted in good faith and have not been charged with a crime.

Brenda Rindge