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the orland park prairie | April 18, 2019 | 3

Orland School D135 Board of Education

Superintendent quitting in June but still on leave

Bill Jones, Editor

The Orland

School

District 135

Board of

Education

this week

accepted the

resignation DJ Skogsberg

of Superintendent

DJ Skogsberg, but

it does not take effect until

June 30, and he remains on

leave for unspecified reasons

and for an undetermined

length of time.

D135 School Board

President Laura Berry notified

parents of the resignation

in a letter that appears

to have been written the

evening of board’s April

8 regular meeting but sent

the next day by D135’s director

of communications,

Jen Obright. The School

Board voted 6-0 to accept

the resignation, with outgoing

Board Member Angie

Sexton absent.

In the letter, Berry noted

Assistant Superintendent

John Bryk, who has assumed

the duties of the

superintendent since Skogsberg’s

leave took effect

March 12, “will continue

to assume the duties and

responsibilities of the superintendent.”

Bryk said by email

Thursday, April 11, that

the district received notice

of Skogsberg’s resignation

the day of the board meeting,

and the reason provided

was “personal.” He

also confirmed Skogsberg

remained on leave.

The leave Skogsberg is

on was originally called

“unexpected” and for “undetermined

length of time”

when Berry originally announced

it in another letter

to parents.

Bryk, Obright and the

School Board have not

commented on whether

or not Skogsberg is getting

paid while on leave,

something not explicitly

addressed in his contract.

Bryk previously cited it as

a human resources issue in

declining to comment on

the salary.

“We don’t discuss employee

leave,” Bryk said at

that time.

Bryk said April 11 Skogsberg’s

resignation officially

terminates his superintendent

contract on

June 30, and he will not

be owed any type of severance

upon the departure.

Bryk also confirmed that

he is not receiving any additional

compensation to

fulfill Skogsberg’s duties

at this time.

Bryk added that Skogsberg

was not included by

name on the agenda for

the meeting because “at

the time the agenda was

posted, the district had not

received a letter of resignation

from the superintendent.”

The agenda had

named staff resignations,

as well as retirements and

notice of honorable dismissal,

and included “possible

action on employment

matters” following a

closed session.

Bryk said a superintendent

search has not been

initiated at this time.

Skogsberg, other administrators

and the D135

Board of Education have

come under the scrutiny

of the community they

serve in recent months,

after the board in February

approved changes to

its honors/enrichment programming,

among other

financial changes designed

to reduce a $2.5 million

annual deficit the district is

facing. Under pressure, the

School Board undid those

changes later in the month,

but budget problems and

conversations with the

community persist.

Skogsberg also is the

subject of a lawsuit filed

in March 2018 by teacher

Heather Conrad against

Orland School District

135, alleging sexual discrimination

on the part of

the superintendent. Conrad

said she was a denied

a promotion to principal

and removed from her position

as assistant principal

based on her sex, and in

retaliation for “rejecting

the unwanted advances” of

Skogsberg.

D135 formally answered

to the lawsuit in May 2018

by denying all of the key

allegations made by Conrad,

but the lawsuit reportedly

remains active.

Since the start of Skogsberg’s

leave, board

members have declined

to comment on it beyond

Berry’s letters. Skogsberg

could not be reached for

comment.

Orland Park Village Board

Officials examine spa regulation

options in wake of prostitution bust

Jon DePaolis

Freelance Reporter

After a recent prostitution

arrest at an Orland

Park massage therapy

business earlier this year,

the Village of Orland

Park’s Public Safety Committee

listened April 1 to a

possible code amendment,

designed to deter future

crimes from happening.

The code amendment

would require all future

massage businesses coming

into Orland Park to

provide at least one other

service that needs a professional

license issued by

the Illinois Department of

Financial & Professional

Regulation.

During the discussion,

Orland Park Police Chief

Tim McCarthy said that

over the past few years

there have been plenty of

stories involving human

trafficking.

“Over the past number

of years, we have seen the

same here in Orland Park,

where Asian women are

brought in and they are

used for prostitution in the

profession, so to speak,

of massage therapy,” he

said.

Orland Park police have

conducted four prostitution

stings at massage-only

businesses in the Village

over the past five years and

made 10 arrests. In Orland

Park, 23 businesses offer

massage therapy services

— 11 of which are massage

therapy only.

“It only happens in locations

that have massage

therapy only — and

no other specialty that is

regulated by the Illinois

Department of Professional

Regulation,” Mc-

Carthy said. “We had

one report here where the

Asian woman we arrested

had only been in the country

about two weeks prior

to our arrest, so it is obvious

what is going on here

that these women are being

brought here and used

for.”

The code amendment

would not affect businesses

currently in operation in

the Village.

Trustee Michael Carroll

wondered if there was a

less intrusive way of handling

the issue than potentially

denying massage

therapy-only businesses

moving forward. He asked

if there was a way to have

these businesses submit

State licensing identification

numbers at regular

intervals, or if requiring

more licenses from those

professionals who work at

Round It Up

A brief recap of action and discussion from the

April 1 Orland Park Village Board meeting

• During its meeting April 1, the Village Board

voted unanimously to approve the Orland Ridge

development as part of the Consent Agenda. The

mixed use development calls for 104 attached

dwelling units, 190 attached townhome units, a

clubhouse, a concept plan for a hotel, and retail

and commercial space.

• The Village Board also voted unanimously to

approve an agreement with AT&T to install small

cell technology within the Village’s rights of way.

The initial term is for five years with two additional

five-year renewals. AT&T will pay the Village $200

annually in rent.

• The Village Board also approved another

agreement with AT&T to install a small cell

application at the parking garage at the UChicago

Medicine - Orland Park. The initial term is for five

years with two additional five-year renewals, and

AT&T will pay the Village $270 annually in rent.

those businesses could be

solutions.

“It seems to me like we

are potentially going to

turn away some businesses

that are reputable in order

to attack the ones that are

not,” he said.

Please see village, 10

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