Prairie State Board Censures Trustee After Strategic Walk-Out
Wendell Mosby has been temporarily stripped of his travel reimbursement privileges after he walked out of a board meeting and took the quorum with him.
Prairie State College Trustee Wendell Mosby will be traveling on his own dime, at least until he gets his boardroom behavior under control.
The trustee was censured at the board's Dec. 4 meeting, losing his travel reimbursement privileges indefinitely, according to fellow trustee Marc A. Wiley Sr. The punishment came as a result of Mosby strategically walking out of a meeting.
At the Oct. 30 public board meeting, Mosby was one of only four board members to show up out of the seven. When a board policy on nepotism in employment came up for discussion and vote, Mosby voiced his disapproval, according to the minutes. He said the board was enacting the policy to retaliate against the Prairie State staff for opposing the hiring of Chair Jacquline Agee's stepfather, Leo Alexander, to an $80,000-a-year job last year.
When it came time to vote on the nepotism policy, Mosby walked out of the meeting, leading to the lack of a quorum and an inability to pass the policy. Agee then pulled the item from the agenda, according to the meeting minutes. Mosby returned shortly after and got into a heated exchange with Agee about his slick move.
"I didn’t know I was going to have an opportunity to kill this action item, but there were only four board members there, so I was the quorum," Mosby said. "I spoke out in opposition, and I walked out so it couldn’t pass."
Wiley, who was not at the Oct. 30 meeting, said he disapproved of Mosby walking out of a meeting.
"That was really out of order," said Wiley. "It's actually a violation of board policy. You don't do that. You vote 'yes' or 'no.' You can't just go disrupting the college business like that."
At the Dec. 4 meeting, four of the six present board members supported censuring Mosby. While the minutes for that meeting are not yet available, Wiley jotted down what Mosby was told his punishment would be:
"You will no longer have any travel expenses reimbursed by the college until you continually adhere to all college policies."
Removing travel reimbursements could be considered hitting Mosby where it hurts. As a state- and national-level committee chair, Mosby said, he travels to conferences representing Prairie State about eight times a year, and no censure will stop that.
“Because you control the purse strings, you think you can stop me from attending these events?" Mosby said. "I’ve represented Prairie State very well on the state and national stages. Is it because you’ve got nothing else? Because nothing I’ve done is unethical? Because I don’t get along and go along?"
It's more than not going with the flow, according to Wiley, who said Mosby goes against what is being said at the meetings "90 percent of the time." Mosby agreed with that assessment, but said the board's priorities are out of whack.
"They rubberstamp everything," Mosby said. "It’s not like they’re asking thought-provoking questions about college students’ success. Nothing is about students’ success. Call a spade a spade."
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