The Stillwater Area School Board approved the termination of Kristen Hoheisel, SAPS director of finance and operations, on Sept. 3 following a closed session to discuss  legal matters. 

The board discussed no details in open session only to read a resolution of employment action and vote on the issue. The board passed the resolution 4—1 with a strong dissent voiced by board member

Jennifer Pelletier.

According to a letter of termination provided to the Gazette, the district lists five reasons for Hoheisel’s termination.

Those reasons include not providing the board with timely and accurate information, a broken relationship with the board and the “investigation into the Lake Elmo bus garage project returned findings regarding your actions that are of concern to the school board.”

The board authorized an investigation on March 19 into the district’s Lake Elmo bus terminal after it was not connected to sewer and water making the project not in compliance with its conditional use permit. The bus terminal was also not completed by its Oct. 31, 2019, deadline.

The letter also states that Hoheisel is not eligible to “receive any unearned salary, severance or other compensation after your termination.”

During the March 19 board meeting, Hoheisel was placed on administrative leave — identifying her during the meeting as “employee A” due to data privacy laws, , the Gazette reported.

Months after being placed on administrative leave, Hoheisel sued the district claiming the district and the school board chair violated the Minnesota Open Meeting Law, the statute protecting whistleblowers and the Minnesota Data Practices Act in a lawsuit filed May 5 in Washington County District Court.

Hoheisel laid out three counts of alleged wrongdoing by the district and school board chair Sarah Stivland in the lawsuit.

In 2017, Hoheisel filed a hostile work environment complaint alleging gender discrimination and harassment by two school board members including Stivland, who joined the school board in January 2017.

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