Arizona Board of Ed Sues Superintendent Diane Douglas


The Arizona Board of Education is seeking a court order in an effort to force Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas to give board investigators remote computer access so that web traffic can be redirected to the board’s new website.

According to board attorney Mary O’Grady, state law requires Douglas to “execute … the policies which have been decided upon by the state board.”  However, despite a request to give investigators online access to a database used for decisions concerning revoking certification from teachers, Douglas has yet to comply.

O’Grady also said a new website was created after staff members were moved out of the Department of Education building earlier this year.  However, Douglas has continued to run the board’s old site and is refusing to redirect web traffic to the new site despite being given a board order to do so, reports Howard Fisher for The Arizona Daily Star.

“She’s not responding to our staff requests … we’re tired of waiting,” Arizona School Board President Greg Miller said Wednesday. “We’ve given (her) lots of opportunities and made multiple efforts and lots of requests and she’s just not responding.”

The lawsuit comes only two weeks after the board gave permission to their lawyers to sue Douglas for not complying with board policies, saying she needs to be held accountable.

Miller went on to say that parents should not be worried about how the lawsuit will effect area classrooms.

“As far as parents are concerned, they shouldn’t worry about their classrooms in terms of services provided or any of those kinds of things,” he said, adding that the suit could become an issue down the road.

Conflicts have arisen between the board and Douglas since February, when she was unsuccessful in firing the board’s executive staff.  In the end, a judge ruled that doing so was the responsibility of the board, who oversees its staff.

The police were called in August after Douglas argued that Miller had grabbed her arm during a board meeting.  According to Miller, he bumped her arm by accident as he was reaching for a microphone that she was holding.  He later suggested that her argument was politically influenced.

“I reached over, grabbed the microphone attached to the dais and just moved it forward,” he told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Mac & Gaydos in August. “Maybe, in doing that, I touched her arm or something in that process, but I never grabbed her.”

Douglas was then assigned a new seat for board meetings.  She has yet to show up to another meeting despite being contractually obligated to do so.