By ZEINAB NAJM
HEIGHTS — The Crestwood School Board Trustee Salwa Fawaz was censured for the second time in just two months Nov 9, this time for discussing details from an Oct. 28 closed session.
A vote to approve the resolution was passed 5-1 with Fawaz the lone dissenter. The censure is a strong reprimand or disproval of actions by a board member.
Acting Board President Colleen Krizanic read the resolution at a Nov. 9 meeting which said that Fawaz violated the Open Meetings Act and the board’s policy.
The board held a special meeting Oct. 28 where they met for a performance evaluation of Supt. Youssef Mosallam, held in a closed session at his request and in pursuant to the Open Meetings Act. Following the evaluation, the board returned to an open session where Fawaz began to make comments regarding the substance of Mosallam’s evaluation.
“I did not say what was in closed session, I explained why I abstained from a vote as a board member,” Fawaz said Nov. 9. “There weren’t reasons or details of what was discussed in closed session.”
Krizanic responded by saying that Fawaz shared details of what her opinion was in relation to Mosallam’s performance evaluation.
Those comments by Fawaz were contrary to the Open Meetings Act and board policy, specifically a section of the code of conduct — understand board of education member’s roles and responsibilities — the resolution said.
The board found that Fawaz’s actions were contrary to the standard of behavior the board reasonably expects of board members.
“Be it resolved that the board find’s that Fawaz ignored her responsibilities as a board member, in particular her responsibility to comply with the Open Meetings Act and board policy and failed to reflect upon the likely adverse effect her conduct could have on the reputation and work of the board of education in the district,” the resolution said. “As a result, this resolution should be considered a censure of Fawaz’s actions in her capacity as a board member of the Crestwood School District Board of Education.”
In September, the board voted 6-1 in favor of the original censure against Fawaz, with her vote as the only one opposed.
Trustee Ed Garcia read the resolution which said that on June 15, Fawaz engaged in a verbal and physical altercation involving, among others, students of the Crestwood School District which resulted in a filing of a police report and criminal investigation.
Currently, the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office is still investigating the incident which took place outside of Lava Lounge in Dearborn Heights.
The second incident was allegedly with Trustee Nadia Berry Aug. 3 where Fawaz deliberately and without provocation used her hip to shove and or push Berry and then yelled at Berry, which behavior was witnessed by members of the community.
Garcia said Fawaz’s behavior was contrary to the standard of behavior the board reasonably expects the board members and went against board policy including treating each other with dignity and respect.
During that meeting, Fawaz said she found out about the censure Sept. 13 when the board packet was provided to the board members.
She also said that in response to the censure vote, her attorney would possibly be contacting the board’s attorney.
To watch the board’s meetings go to www.youtube.com/CrestwoodSchoolDistrict.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected])