LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The Jefferson County Board of Education Superintendent Screening Committee recommended its pick for the new superintendent of Jefferson County Public Schools on Thursday, but it won’t say who.

Acting JCPS Superintendent Marty Pollio and Chief Operations Officer Mike Raisor are the finalists for the position, and the school board has said it plans to make a decision by March 1.

When the screening committee emerged from a 40-minute closed session regarding its recommended pick for the next superintendent, Eisenhower Elementary Principal Julie Cummings, who chairs the panel, asked for a motion “to adopt the recommendation that was discussed in the executive session” and send it to the full school board.

After the committee approved the motion, Cummings explained that counsel advised members that its recommendation is preliminary and therefore exempt from public disclosure.

Frank Mellen, who represents JCPS, said the board simply took action on a recommendation “which under the Open Records Act is exempt from disclosure.”

“It will be made public when the board acts on it,” he said, noting that the school board makes the ultimate decision on the district’s next superintendent.

But Jon Fleischaker, an attorney who specializes in First Amendment and media law, disagreed and called the screening committee’s action “very inappropriate” and “perhaps illegal.”

“They made the decision in an open meeting in a way that didn’t give the public any notice of what the decision was, and that is the problem,” Fleischaker told WDRB News.

“If they believe, which I think is true, that they have to take action in an open session, in an open meeting, they can’t take it secretly. That’s what they’ve done. They pretended they’re complying with the statute when in fact they’re not.”

Reach reporter Kevin Wheatley at 502-585-0838 and kwheatley@wdrb.com. Follow him on Twitter @KevinWheatleyKY.

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