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Ex-asst Supt Says Ed Board Meeting 'Staged' (May 12, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The fired assistant state superintendent for financial services says he thinks a contentious state Board of Education meeting in January was "staged."

On Thursday, Jack Herron addressed his firing earlier this week by state Superintendent Janet Barresi's chief of staff, Jennifer Carter.

During the January meeting, state board members refused to approve the hiring of three of Barresi's executive staff members and one board member called Barresi "a dictator."

Herron says Barresi knew the board would reject the proposed hirings, which would give her political cover to seek more control over the state Department of Education. Lawmakers since have stripped the board of many of its powers and given them to the superintendent.

Education Department spokesman Damon Gardenhire says any suggestion Barresi staged what happened during the meeting is "absurd."

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