Before you can legally serve on a Board of Education you must first take an oath of office.
In a report released earlier this month, the state’s Office of Legislative Research (OLR), wrote that “In Connecticut, people elected or appointed to public office are often required to swear or affirm an oath before beginning a term in office.” [Office of Legislative Research, Research Report]
So, why was Carmen Lopez allowed to run a Board of Education meeting?
The OLR’s Timothy D. Bleasdale went on to write, “When an oath is required to hold a public office, failing to swear the oath is problematic.”
So, we’ll ask the question again: Why was Carmen Lopez, a judge-turned-activist who sued the city only last year, a woman who filed a spurious lawsuit that cost taxpayers millions before it was thrown out of court, allowed to run a public Board of Education meeting?
As this blog has mentioned before, Lopez took over a public board meeting recently at the behest of Working Families Party puppet John Bagley.
Why was Lopez allowed to run the meeting? It’s not as if she has special knowledge of the issue. In her own words, she was asked to run the meeting because, “I have a legal background and I research and I do this voluntarily.”
It’s clear that Bagley neglected his duty to the parents who voted him into office, but is it possible Lopez and Bagley broke the law, too?
As the OLR reminds us, the requirement of an oath is enshrined in state statute. Lopez never took an oath of office. Therefore, when Bagley ceded control of a public board meeting to an activist, did he break at least the spirit of the law?
An oath is not a lighthearted matter – it affirms that the oath-taker is beholden to something larger than him or herself. Whether or not the law was broken, the fact is that Bagley, in handing over control of a public board meeting to Lopez, may have broken his own oath.
The oath that Board of Education members are required to take is as follows: “You solemnly swear … that you will faithfully discharge, according to law, your duties…”
Good job, Bagley, at least if “faithfully discharging” means passing the ball.
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