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School Board spends $630,000 to defend claim about $400 class
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"Common sense lost its voice on this one," concluded a Wethersfield, Conn., city councilman, lamenting the local school board's having spent at least $630,000 to "resolve" an ethics complaint against the board's chairwoman – all because her son had improperly taken a $400 high school course for free. The town's ethics board conducted more than 60 hours of hearings over 11 months, incurring $407,000 in legal expenses, and finally voted, 3-2, to uphold the complaint. However, the ethics board ordered only that the chairwoman reimburse the $400; the school board then voted to pay all her legal expenses. • In June, as five young men gathered around the Mount Tabor Reservoir near Portland, Ore., one urinated in it, thus "contaminating" the 7.2 million gallons that serve the city, and, said Water Bureau administrator David Shaff, necessitating the entire supply be dumped.