Tempe fights order to release superintendent files - East Valley Tribune: News

Tempe fights order to release superintendent files

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Posted: Wednesday, November 19, 2003 10:43 pm | Updated: 1:10 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

The Tempe Union High School District will appeal a court order issued Tuesday to release the personnel files of Superintendent James Buchanan.

After meeting behind closed doors Wednesday night with legal counsel, the governing board voted unanimously to fight the ruling of Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Michael Jones. The district will seek a stay of the order while it pursues a reversal in the Arizona Court of Appeals.

"Our attorneys have told us this ruling is not a final judgment," board member Daniel Perkins said.

Phoenix Newspapers filed a lawsuit in August to obtain the employee records after the district refused to grant access on the grounds they were confidential.

"These records will shed light on two things: How well Superintendent James Buchanan performed his duties in office, and how the district's governing board discharged its duties in monitoring the superintendent's conduct," Phoenix Newspapers attorney David Bodney said.

Buchanan, who is married, came under fire in May when an Ahwatukee Foothills woman accused him of stalking her after their affair ended. Buchanan acknowledged the affair in a June 25 statement but said the allegations of stalking were without merit.

Phoenix police are investigating whether Buchanan has violated an order of protection, granted May 22.

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