CMS School Board Vice Chair says Board should have fired Morrison

RAW VIDEO: Tim Morgan one-on-one

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board (CMS) Vice Chairman Tim Morgan believes the school board should have fired former superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison. The At-Large school board member believes that would have helped eliminate criticism the board received.

"That way a number of the items that we are not able to talk about," Morgan said. "Would have been put out there publicly. I think looking back at it now, we should have done that."

There were allegations Morrison had a pattern of bullying and harassing his staff. The district agreed not to speak bad of Morrison after he left.

"At the time the superintendent offered his resignation," Morrison said. "It made sense."

Morgan is concerned the critics of the process are missing the point.

"It's a tough situation," Morgan said. "Anytime you have an issue like that, there are going to be people questioning it, but at the end of the day the superintendent resigned, and that's one of the things that has been missed in all of this."

The At-Large school board member is concerned people, who are criticizing the board, are speaking before they know all the facts.

"It's somewhat frustrating," Morgan said. "That we have people from the community, former members of this board who have questioned our actions, questioned the actions of Mr. Battle - bottom-line, we have a very different structure in place with our legal department than when they were on the board."

Morgan says these days most of CMS investigations are done in-house to save money. Battle conducted the investigation against Morrison.

Morgan is now looking toward the next superintendent. He wants the next leader to be the same in public as he or she is in private with staff.

"That's going to be very important to me," Morgan said. "That the staff and the public are dealing with the same person."

He wants change in 2015. He wants to alter the way the board evaluates the superintendent and the general counsel. He wants it to include talking to their staff about their job performance. "So we'll have a more well rounded view," Morgan said. "Of the job of the two positions are doing."

He also wants to create policy so employees won't feel threatened to report their boss if they exhibit bad behavior. "That if employees have concerns with higher ups," Morgan said. "Or other people in the organization that they can feel confidant that they can do it. To get those concerns looked at and addressed if necessary."

He also wants a committee of board members to look at new school construction. Morrison is accused of lying to the board about the construction costs of a new magnet school build on UNC Charlotte's campus.

"From a board," Morgan said. "We need to be more aggressive in how we look at that."

Morgan believes 2014 was not all bad. He is pleased the district's graduation rate increased and the achievement gap is closing.

"It's not closing fast enough," Morgan said. "But we continue to see closures there, so that is exciting also."

The board member tells WBTV he is excited about 2015 and wants the community to know he is up for the job.

"I try to be a positive ambassador for CMS," Morgan said. "I will continue to look at what's best for our leadership and how we need to hire somebody."

Morgan would not tell WBTV if he will run again for school board.

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