Willow Run school board fires student services administrator
The Willow Run school board fired Laconda Hicks tonight, citing misconduct and violation of the terms of her contract.
Hicks, the district’s student services administrator, had been on paid administrative leave since February. Tonight’s special board meeting capped nearly a month of due process hearings conducted by the board into 15 charges levied against Hicks.
David Jesse | AnnArbor.com
The board will conduct similar due process hearings next against former Superintendent Doris Hope-Jackson, who was demoted earlier this school year. No date has been set for those hearings to begin.
Hicks wasn't at tonight’s board meeting and couldn't be reached for comment. She and an attorney have been at the due process hearings, which were conducted in closed session.
Board members voted tonight on all 15 of the charges, including several subsections. A majority of the board said 11 of the charges were proven, tied 3-3 on one charge and said two were not proven. Charge 15 had eight subsections, and board members voted the majority of those subsections were proven.
The board alleged Hicks colluded with Hope-Jackson to defraud the district and misappropriate local and federal money.
They allege the duo colluded to get Hicks more than $36,100 in extra pay by: modifying her contract without notifying the school board; allowing her to abuse the sick day system; paying her extra for attending events outside school hours at a rate of $100 an hour, despite being a salaried employee; and other methods.
The documents repeatedly charge both Hope-Jackson and Hicks “defrauded” the district of money.
In addition, the document alleges they spent more than $300,000 of federal Title I money on the Reading and Language Arts Centers Program.
At the same time, Hicks was researching “Teacher Perceptions of Professional Development Related to Multi-sensory training, using the Reading and Language Arts Centers Program.”
Board President Sheri Washington said the district has not ruled out pressing criminal charges against Hicks.
When asked whether she thought Hicks had committed criminal acts, Washington said, “It’s criminal to steal from children and to deprive them of money that is supposed to be spent on their education.”
David Jesse covers K-12 education for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 734-623-2534.