The Loudoun County School Board is considering hiring a fifth independent hearing officer.
Hearing officers, serving as impartial parties, take evidence and make recommendations for certain types of employee grievance appeal hearings. School division counsel Stephen DeVita told the School Board at its June 13 meeting that another officer is needed because another hearing officer—a private attorney—has been hired by another school division so will not be available for Loudoun County Public Schools employee disputes.
Plus, scheduling conflicts often come up with the current pool of hearing officers.
“The idea is to have as many qualified individuals on the panel because any number of them might have a conflict with scheduling. We want to always be able to have someone who is experienced in this area,” DeVita said.
School district policy requires some of the hearings to be held in as soon as 15 days after the grievance is filed, he added.
He is recommending that the School Board hire Kevin North to fill the contracted position. North is the chairman of the Fairfax County Retirement System. He retired last year after serving as the chief human resources officer for Alexandria City Public Schools from 2011 to 2016 and, previously, as assistant superintendent of human resources for Fairfax County Public Schools from 2003 to 2011.
The school district’s other hearing officers are: attorneys Anne Murphy, Jeff Fagan, Mary McGown, and John Cafferky; and retired Judge Paul F. Sheridan. Other qualified individuals from Richmond-based firm The McCammon Group can also be called in.