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Conservative Conference Ends, But Bad Feelings Remain In Clay County Schools

Clay County Schools

The "Dare to Think" conference is history, but not so the bad feelings some Clay County School Board members have for district Superintendent Charlie Van Zant for booking the event.

The two-day conference, which wrapped up Tuesday, was sponsored by well-known conservative Republican William Korach, publisher of the education reform magazine The Report Card.

Last week, three members of the school board voted to file an ethics complaint against Van Zant for continuing to support the conference after the board voted to have nothing to do with it.

Florida Coastal School of Law professor Rod Sullivan said the state ethics commission likely has jurisdiction to conduct an investigation.

“The real question will be, how will the ethics investigation come out?" he said. "Any time you start an ethics investigation, it creates a stain on the person being investigated, even though the mere acceptance of jurisdiction doesn’t mean one thing one way or the other.”

According to Sullivan, an investigation would probably focus on two key questions: Did the superintendent usurp school board assets for personal or political purposes and was he advancing his own or someone else’s personal or political agendas?

Van Zant has denied any wrong doing. The school district’s attorney is also on record as saying the district’s policies were followed with regards to the "Dare To Think" conference.
You can follow Cyd Hoskinson on Twitter @cydwjctnews.

Cyd Hoskinson began working at WJCT on Valentine’s Day 2011.