School board admits illegal vote |

School board admits illegal vote

DURANGO ” The Durango school board acknowledged it broke the Colorado Open Meetings law when it used secret ballots to choose a new member.

The board’s attorney said Mondaythe appointment of Tammy Capdevielle had been nullified. The board was expected to make another appointment Wednesday.

The board reversed the April 30 vote for Capdevielle after it was contested by the Durango Herald. An attorney for the newspaper cited a provision of the open meeting law that says formal actions by public bodies must be done in “public meetings open to the public at all times.”

Board president Floyd Patterson took responsibility for the violation.

“I really erred there,” he told the Herald in Tuesday’s editions. “It wasn’t a subtle mistake. We’re not going to look like the best, but we’ve got to assume responsibility.”

Board members wrote their votes on paper and handed their ballots to Patterson. Patterson announced Capdevielle was the choice but said the decision was not unanimous.

Darryl Farrington, the board’s attorney, said members used secret ballots because “it would be more tactful and perhaps avoid any personal feelings.”

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