School district apologizes for executive session invitation to councilman

Following an inquiry by Oklahoma Gazette, Oklahoma City Public Schools said it was a mistake to invite a city councilman into its executive session Monday night and it has reported the incident to the district attorney.

Ward 2 Councilman Ed Shadid was invited into the board conference room as the school board gathered for an executive session during a regular meeting on Monday night. Executive sessions are reserved for the discussion of personnel matters and other legal issues listed on the agenda.

“As the board was gathering in a conference room for an executive session discussion listed on the agenda, a board member asked to introduce Oklahoma City Councilman Ed Shadid to the board,” Brandon Carey, attorney for OKCPS, said in a statement to Oklahoma Gazette. “Mr. Shadid introduced himself, handed out some flyers about an upcoming town hall meeting on Tax Increment Financing, and then began talking about the topic.”

Carey said the entire board was not aware Shadid would be invited into the meeting and there was no discussion about the topic brought up by Shadid during his visit or after he left.

“Once the district administration understood the situation, Mr. Shadid was asked to conclude his remarks and exit the room, as it was not an appropriate forum for the discussion,” Carey said. “Mr. Shadid graciously complied and, after exiting the room, the board began discussing the item listed on the agenda.  The board did not engage in discussion with Mr. Shadid, nor did it discuss his remarks or take any action related to them.”

Carey said district administration reported the incident to the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s office.

Shadid is hosting a town hall meeting Thursday to discuss the impact of tax incentives on the city and its school system. Shadid said he had intended to address the board during a time reserved for public comments, but was not able to sign up in time and wanted to quickly pass out a flyer for the event before the board began its executive session.

“It’s 100 percent my fault,” Shadid said. “I should have just waited until after the executive session ... but I wanted to make sure they were aware of the town hall.”

Carey said district officials believed Shadid and the board member who invited him in “had good and innocent intentions, ... however, the incident should have occurred in a different setting.”

“OKCPS apologizes for the confusion that this situation may have caused,” Carey added, “and will improve our processes to ensure that such an incident does not occur in the future.”

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