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DPS board rejects Kinloch

DPS Board Secretary Joyce Zarrieff shows staff her cell phone. After, workers shut off the microphones during the meeting of the elected board.  STAFF PHOTO

DPS Board Secretary Joyce Zarrieff shows staff her cell phone. After, workers shut off the microphones during the meeting of the elected board. STAFF PHOTO

Sherry Gay-Dagnogo to sit on DPS board

By T. Kelly
The Michigan Citizen

DETROIT — The elected Detroit Public Schools board found Jonathan Kinloch sitting on the stage of Frederick Douglass Academy for Young Boys at the board table, when it began its monthly meeting July 11.

Appointed by former DPS Emergency Manager Roy Roberts, without advice or consent of the elected board, Kinloch had taken his place — alphabetically — at the board table and had fashioned himself a name plate. He was busy conferring with Board Secretary Joyce Zarrieff.

President Lamar Lemmons called the board to order and asked Zarrieff to call the roll. The secretary included Kinloch on the roll call, only to be pounded out of order by Lemmons, overriding Kinloch’s effort to answer present.

“Kinloch is a member of the board,” Zarrieff said. In fact, she had e-mailed board members the day before the meeting, noting she was attaching the “Oath/Acceptance of Office and Certification of Office Acceptance for the vacant Board of Education seat, which has been filled by Roberts.”

“Why is he sitting up there?” education activist and Keep the Vote No Takeover President Helen Moore asked from the audience.

“Roy Roberts says he appointed him,” Lemmons responded. “We have not received a signed letter of resignation (from Carol Banks, who left to take a job as ombudsman with DPS).”

Lemmons says Roberts did not have authority to replace elected board members. A resolution was offered by Ida Short and unanimously approved requesting Zarrieff be dismissed for that meeting.

Zarrieff began gathering her things while Kinloch attempted to assert his right to be on the board, only to be drowned out by member Elena Herrada pounding on a mic.

Zarrieff did not immediately leave the building. She climbed the steps of the auditorium to where three staff members manned the microphones and showed them a message on her cell phone. They immediately cut off the microphones and turned off the air conditioning on the 90-degree day.

Some said the cell phone had a message from Roberts’ second-in-command, Kevin Smith.

However, according to the board bylaws, “The board secretary shall report directly to the board and receive direction through policy, resolution and bylaws.”

Kinloch has been a faithful supporter of Roberts over the two years he has been EM. When Roberts tried to take control of the Library Commission — the last public institution in the city still under citizen control — Kinloch controlled the gavel and used it, unsuccessfully, to unseat and replace Lemmons with Roberts.

Kinloch unsuccessfully ran for a seat on the board in 2008 but lost to Otis Mathis.  When Mathis had to step down, the board had to choose between Herrada and Kinloch, who then served on the library board. Although Kinloch said he would resign from the Library Commission to qualify for the seat, the board chose Herrada.

Kinloch remained on the Library Commission until Roberts’ school board appointment. Kinloch resigned from the Library Commission the week of July 15. Kinloch was president of the Library Commission in November 2012 when it was raided by the FBI and was operating with a $10 million deficit.

After Zarrieff and Kinloch left the meeting, Lemmons opened the session for recommendations from the public to fill the seat vacated by Banks. The board considered two candidates: Ola Wayne, parent of a Mumford student, and educator and union organizer Sherry Gay-Dagnogo.

Both spoke to the audience on their qualifications. The board unanimously approved the appointment of Gay-Dagnogo.

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