Petitioners file to remove Tipp City Board of Education members Theresa Dunaway and Anne Zakkour


By Sam Wildow

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TIPP CITY — Petitioners have filed in Miami County Common Pleas Court this week seeking for the removal of Theresa Dunaway and Anne Zakkour from the Tipp City Board of Education. Dunaway serves as the president of the board, and Zakkour serves as the vice president.

According to the Tipp City Concerned Citizens’ petition circulated online, the petitioners stated Dunaway’s and Zakkour’s voting history is not “working in and for the best interest of students.” The petition cited the example “they voted to abruptly end open enrollment without explanation and have not renewed administrator contracts in a timely manner, guaranteeing employment within our district.”

The petition went on to accuse Dunaway and Zakkour of failing “to find healthy solutions or compromises to problems that are occurring within our school district.” Examples cited include administrator resignations and “failure to implement plans to replace lost funds due to the abrupt end of open enrollment.”

The petition also stated, “There has been an increase in the number of school board meetings, special sessions, and executive sessions under their leadership, without explanation as to why use of additional resources, time and financial, is in the school district’s best interest.”

Lastly, the petition accused Dunaway and Zakkour of demonstrating “a lack of respect for community values.” The petition stated, “They ignore or minimize citizen comments and act in a way that discourages them from expressing their concerns.”

The Miami Valley Today has reached out to Dunaway, Zakkour, and members of the Tipp City Concerned Citizens for comment.

By filing in Common Pleas Court, the petitioners are seeking to have Dunaway and Zakkour removed through court proceedings on the grounds there was some type of misconduct in office. According to the Ohio Revised Code, any person holding office “who willfully and flagrantly exercises authority or power not authorized by law, refuses or willfully neglects to enforce the law or to perform any official duty imposed upon him by law, or is guilty of gross neglect of duty, gross immorality, drunkenness, misfeasance, malfeasance, or nonfeasance is guilty of misconduct in office.”

According to the Ohio Revised Code, a judge will try the removal proceedings unless the officers against whom the complaint has been filed demand a jury trial. If a jury is demanded, then the jury will consist of 12 people. At least nine jury members have to “find one or more of the charges in the complaint are true” in order for the public officer to be removed. If less than nine members of the jury find the charges on the complaint are true, “the jury shall return a finding that the complaint be dismissed.”

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