The union that represents support staff at Metro schools announced Wednesday it has filed ethics complaints against Schools' Director Dr. Jesse Register and members of the Metro School Board over their failure to file financial disclosure forms.
Under the Metro Ethics Code, all elected officials and executive officers are required to file reports each year describing sources of income as well as gifts and other things of value received from third parties.
The Service Employees International Union Local 205's complaint states that his last two reports, Dr. Register has refused to complete that section of the form.
In addition, Local 205 has confirmed that school board members have also failed to file any disclosure reports with the Metro Clerk, even though the Ethics Code explicitly requires the reports must be filed by “the holders of all elected offices authorized or created by the Metropolitan Charter.”
“We were astonished to learn that Dr. Register and the members of the board of education have failed to file the disclosure reports that every member of Metro Council and other executive officials of Metro Government file every year,” Doug Collier, President of SEIU Local 205, said in a release. “The Metro Ethics Code does not make any exceptions for MNPS officials or school board members.”
In a March 18 letter to The Tennessean, Register claimed that the current MNPS ethics policy does not require financial disclosure reports, “but we are working on one now that will do so.”
“Dr. Register needs to learn that he and other MNPS officials are not above the law,” Collier continued. “The existing Metro Ethics Code is quite clear. We are simply asking that the leaders of Nashville's public school system should immediately disclose the same information required of other Metro public officials.”
In accordance with the Ethics Code, the Union filed the complaint against Dr. Register with the Board of Education, while the complaint against Board members was filed with the Metro Board of Ethical Conduct. Copies of both complaints are available upon request.
The Service Employees International Union is the largest single labor union in North America with more than two million members.
In Tennessee, SEIU Local 205 represents thousands of workers across the state.