Janesville47.8°

Judge sets deadline in open records case

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Ted Sullivan
August 3, 2010
— A Rock County judge is expected to decide within 30 days whether to release records that could explain why a former Janesville school principal was fired.

Judge Michael Fitzpatrick on Monday asked attorneys to file briefs arguing whether documents from a school district investigation of former Jackson School Principal John Walczak should be made public.


The Gazette requested the documents after Walczak was placed on administrative leave in May. The school district has refused to discuss why Walczak left the district.


Walczak has filed a request to block the release of his records. The Gazette’s attorney, Duffy Dillon, will file a motion to intervene Tuesday and argue that the records should be public.


Walczak stated in his complaint against the school district that Superintendent Karen Schulte placed him on administrative leave May 27.


He accused the district of telling him it had received complaints about him without saying what they were about. He claimed Schulte fired him in a letter he received July 17.


Walczak accused the school district of not allowing him to properly respond to complaints against him.


He argued that the records should not be released because the investigation was not properly completed and he was not allowed to properly respond.


Attorney Michele Perreault of Madison is representing Walczak. Attorney Sara Gehrig of Janesville represents the school district.


A court hearing was scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 26, to argue whether the records should be released. A decision is expected by Sept. 1.



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