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SANDY — Canyons School District Superintendent David Doty said he would not call for an investigation into complaints his administration had censured employees, and he does not support the suggestion employees be surveyed anonymously to see if they have complaints.
Both items came up at a school board meeting Tuesday night, where administrative culture in the district was both praised and criticized. The discussion remained lively Wednesday, with news coverage of the meeting attracting a significant number of comments both supporting and criticizing the district's administration and the call for an investigation.
Doty's comments came on KSL Newsradio's Doug Wright show Wednesday morning as Doty answered Wright's questions and presented his view of the controversy in a 30-minute live interview. Doty said he honors and respects teachers in the district and wants their feedback, but he said he doesn't believe a survey is necessary.
"I have a big problem with anonymous surveys," he said.
As for an investigation, "If the board feels that's necessary, of course I will be willing to do that," Doty said. "Am I going to initiate it myself? No."
The call for an investigation is into allegations of intimidation by the top management of Canyons School District. Former and current district employees have come forward criticizing Doty and accusing him of inappropriately reprimanding district employees and in some cases, threatening their employment to ensure silence.
The board issued a statement Tuesday in support of Doty: "We are his direct supervisors, and for four years have worked closely with him as he has led our district," the statement reads. "We believed he was the right person to lead this district when we hired him four years ago. And we are even more convinced now that he is the right person to lead Canyons School District."
Board member Paul McCarty read the statement at Tuesday's meeting. Unknown is whether there was any dissent by individual board members. And the board members are not talking.
The Deseret News spoke briefly on Wednesday with board member Mont Millerberg, who said he did not want to be interviewed. Board member Kevin Cromar said he would not comment. Phone calls and emails attempting to reach McCarty, Kim Murphy Horiuchi, Tracy Scott Cowdell, Sherril Taylor and Steve Wrigley were not returned or answered.
Cromar himself came under fire from the school board when it voted in September to censure Cromar, accusing him of undermining Doty and spreading allegations about a fellow board member. Cromar cast the only vote against the censure.
The request for the survey and investigation came from school board candidate Chad Iverson, who is running against McCarty, who, along with Millerberg, is seeking re-election this year. Cromar's seat is also up for election; he is not seeking another term.
Iverson started an online petition on Friday that spells out the requests. The petition had 949 signatures Wednesday afternoon.