BULLHEAD CITY — Colorado River Union High School District board member Richard Cardone is denying accusatons from former board member and President Kari Hoffman at a meeting last week about his behavior toward current board President Lori Crampton.
Cardone said that he feels he was unfairly portrayed by Hoffman.
“I have never had any hostile exchanges with Ms. Hoffman,” said Cardone who said that he told voters he hoped to be the voice for people who said they saw things happening at board meetings that they didn’t like.
Cardone told News West on Thursday that, after winning his seat, he began looking into minutes from past board meetings concerning sensitive issues the board had dealt with, some of which occurred during Hoffman’s tenure as president. He said he’d found himself blocked in doing so by Crampton and that Hoffman resented his inquiries into those meeting minutes.
He said he sought the counsel of the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, which cleared the path for his inquires and sided with his right to view those minutes. Neither Crampton nor Hoffman were pleased with that ruling, with Hoffman describing Cardone as “bullying” Crampton. Cardone said the board has made a referral to the Mohave County prosecutor, but did not state what that referral was concerning.
One of the issues Cardone said he is concerned with involves his request for a copy of a contract between Medhi Azarmi/Fairway Construction and the district. He also has requested a copy of all the bids for the bond-allocated high school renovations.
Cardone said he made that request over a month ago, but has yet to see proof from the district that any contract exists with Azarmi or Fairway Construction and that the district has not provided proof that there were any bids submitted for the projects.
At Monday’s CRUHSD board meeting, the board directed Supt. Todd Flora to move forward seeking bids to complete remaining work to be done at the high schools under the bond allocation. Cardone also said that the board has an open agenda item for seeking an auditor to look over a matter unrelated to its overall budget, and that it may suggest the auditor would be looking into the contract work at the two schools.
Another issue Cardone expressed dissatisfaction with regards a school policy relating to the use of alcohol on school property. The Anderson Auto Group Fieldhouse is school property, and the district has a policy of no alcohol on school grounds. The fieldhouse has as part of its rules of operation that it can be leased for events such as weddings and concerts where alcohol may be served.
There is a policy inclusion for the use of alcohol at such events which has been approved by the board, but it has so far not gone back to amend the overall policy of no alcohol on school property.
In particular, at issue is the annual Kiwanis Club of the Colorado River’s Wine and Jazz Festival that occurred at the Fieldhouse earlier this month. Cardone said the board’s attorney had cautioned it on the use of alcohol at the Fieldhouse without first going back and amending the overall policy.
Cardone said that he pointed this out to the board, and that it was suggested by Flora that the board didn’t want to lose the money for the lease of that event. The board has yet to finalize the use of alcohol at leased events at the Fieldhouse.
The issue of alcohol use at the Fieldhouse was on the agenda for the board’s meeting Monday, but that was after the festival had already taken place.