VCSC Board member Burks said he abstained from ESG vote Monday because he missed August attorney meeting

A Vigo County School Board member explained why he chose to abstain from voting on an important issue.

Posted: Sep 13, 2019 5:43 PM

VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - A Vigo County School Board member explained why he chose to abstain from voting on an important issue.

On Monday night, the Vigo County School Board approved a resolution to allow attorneys to negotiate a settlement with Energy Systems Group.

The board feels ESG overbilled the school corporation promoting the legal action.

If a settlement can not be reached, the board could sue ESG.

Board member Mel Burks abstained from voting on that resolution.

In late August, the Vigo County School Board met in an executive session in downtown Indianapolis. The purpose was to discuss this resolution against ESG.

Attorneys for Bose, McKinney, and Evans explained to board members their options.

Five of the seven board members were in the Indianapolis meeting.

Burkes told News 10 he was not at that meeting, because he had prior commitments.

He said because he wasn't there, he isn't familiar with what was discussed.

Burkes felt he wasn't up to speed on what the attorney, Jonathan Mayes, had to say.

He told us that is why he abstained.

Monday's meeting happened 13 days after that executive session.

When we pointed out he had this long to do his homework on the executive session before Monday's vote, here's what he told us.

"If I did not receive any information from the person who's leading the meeting, then I think I'm still not...what I usually do is ask particular questions and I was not able to do so," Burks responded.

Burkes is also the CEO of the Hamilton Center.

His vote prompted many of you to ask whether there's a connection between Hamilton Center and ESG.

He told us Hamilton Center has not done any work with ESG, nor has he accepted any donations from the company.

Burks told us he plans to get answers on ESG next week.

"Mr. Jonathan Mayes, who was the individual leading the meeting, he has made an appointment with me where we can just go over that," Burks said.

He told us that appointment will take place sometime next week.

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