W-B Area officials: No response from Evans on call for his resignation

By Mark Guydish - [email protected]
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WILKES-BARRE — About 24 hours after taking the unusual step of calling for the resignation of a fellow board member through a written statement, Wilkes-Barre Area School Board President Joe Caffrey said late Wednesday afternoon that he has not heard any response from Ned Evans.

Caffrey declined further explanation of how he and the rest of the board came to release the statement following rapid-fire developments Tuesday, saying — as he had after the statement was released — that it speaks for itself.

In a Facebook post made by Evans, he joked about a story of a 27-year-old Arizona female teacher accused of having oral sex with a 13-year-old male student. Though some reports suggested he was considering resigning, when contacted Tuesday afternoon, Evans said he would not resign.

Around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Superintendent Brian Costello issued a statement apologizing for Evans’ comment in the post and saying “the remaining members of the board of education and I have asked Ned Evans for his resignation.”

As of 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Costello, Caffrey and district Solicitor Ray Wendolowski had received no response from Evans.

Evans did not return a phone call late Wednesday afternoon.

If he refuses to step down, Evans will face the prospect of attending the next school board meeting — set for Aug. 7 at the Solomon/Plains education complex — working with eight board members who have openly said they no longer want him there.

He will almost also certainly confront a crowd of taxpayers hostile to his decision to stay on the board. Many of those who regularly attend meetings have been persistently critical of Evans’ staunch support of high school consolidation, and some have sharply denounced his comments on Facebook in the past.

Meanwhile, Wendolowski stood by his decision that the board cannot legally oust Evans unless he misses two consecutive board meetings without cause.

That actually gives Evans a way to leave the board without resigning: He could not show up in August or September. Such a move has precedence. When Board Member Robert Corcoran moved to Germany, he initially tried to stay on the board by participating in meetings via Skype.

Criticism of the idea — having no residency in the district yet staying on the board — grew rapidly, and the Luzerne County District Attorney’s office announced it was looking into the legality. Corcoran never resigned, but he made the issue moot by missing two consecutive meetings. Fellow board members quickly voted to remove him from their ranks.

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https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_wb_sb5_faaCMYK-1.jpgEvans

By Mark Guydish

[email protected]

Reach Mark Guydish at 570-991-6112 or on Twitter @TLMarkGuydish

Reach Mark Guydish at 570-991-6112 or on Twitter @TLMarkGuydish