July 22, 2014

Complaint against school’s former legal counsel dismissed

The Kansas Disciplinary Administrator (KDA) dismissed a complaint against former Gardner Edgerton School District attorney, Joseph Hatley.

Rep. Bill Sutton, R-Gardner, requested that the KDA, which reviews complaints of misconduct against lawyers, examine Hatley’s conduct during a USD 231 board of education meeting on Feb. 27. During the meeting, four of seven members of the school board voted to terminate the contracts of then-supertindent Bill Gilhaus and two other high-level administration employees. Hatley notified the school district that he intended to resign as the district’s legal counsel shortly after the Feb. 27 meeting.

In a press release, Sutton said Hatley was “verbally combative, condescending… and was at the meeting representing the interests of then-superintendent (Bill) Gilhaus, not the school district at-large.”

The disciplinary administrator dismissed the complaint with the finding that Hatley had taken no action which would violate the Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct or any other ethical consideration.

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