Burlington High School, where the Burlington Technical Center is located
The Burlington School District agreed to suspend an investigation into claims made against administrator Adam Provost in exchange for his resignation nearly two years ago.
Provost was the interim director of the Burlington Technical Center when he resigned January 2, 2018, citing medical reasons.
The nature of the allegations against Provost and details of the investigation were not explained in the resignation agreement, which Seven Days obtained Friday after a lengthy public records legal battle that went all the way to the Vermont Supreme Court.
The state's high court ruled December 6 that the agreement sought by the newspaper was a public record. After a reargument period concluded and the case was closed on Friday, lawyers for the Burlington School District turned over the document as mandated by the court.
The 12-page agreement sheds little light on the reasons for the investigation into Provost's employment but makes clear that it was central to his departure.
The district launched an investigation into “claims against Provost," according to the opening of the agreement. He responded by asserting that his due process rights were being violated, including, among other things, “as the result of a conflict of interest that was previously unknown to the District," the agreement states.
It continues with a promise that the district "is suspending the investigation to evaluate the asserted conflict of interest and determine its options." The agreement then states that no findings or conclusions were made as a result of the investigation.
It also said that Provost had suffered from an unspecified medical condition which caused him to be on leave for 12 weeks, and that he desired to resign for medical reasons. Under a clause labeled "confidentiality," the agreement prohibits school officials from discussing "the existence, terms or content of the Resignation Agreement except that they may state that Provost has resigned for medical reasons."
When reached by Seven Days on Friday, Provost's attorney, Craig Weatherly, declined to offer any details on the claims against the educator.
“I'm not going to comment on anything that is stated or unstated in the agreement. Just put me down for no comment,” Weatherly said.
Provost did not immediately return a request for comment, nor did Burlington Superintendent of Schools Yaw Obeng or school board chair Clare Wool.
During the legal proceedings with Seven Days, school district lawyers argued that the district believed the document was public under state law but said that Provost promised to sue unless certain details were withheld.
Ultimately, the courts disagreed and, after drawn-out litigation, ordered the separation agreement released.