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School Board votes to strip O'Brien of some power

By Adam Allington, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – The St. Louis School Board voted 4-3 on Monday to allow the Board Secretary Flint Fowler to sign all previously approved contracts. Fowler will also be able to issue checks.

Some board members were openly hostile to the plan, accusing the others of back door dealings.

Fowler sayes despite the acrimony, the school board still has important work to do.

"You know its pretty set in place right now, so I don't think it necessarily raised the level of acrimony," Fowler said Monday.

"It was something that needed to be done in order to take care of some the district's business."

"[This] was an effort to undercut the authority of the president and allow for the board and Mr. Fowler to bypass her concerns and her questions about contracts," noted board member Bob Archibald.

The vote comes as the state's Education Department gets ready for a meeting today (Tuesday) to hear public comment about the potential for a state takeover of the school district.

The meeting will take place from 6:00-9:00 p.m. at Harris-Stowe State University.

At issue were several contracts, for items such as storage and boiler maintenance, which took over 6 months for checks to be issued.