ETHS Board meeting, February 7, 2022

A four-month-long mystery ended with yet another mystery Monday night, as the Evanston Township High School Board of Education approved the departure of two top officials without saying a word as to what prompted their leaving.

The board unanimously approved the retirement of Chief Human Resource Officer Toya Campbell, and the resignation of Assistant Chief Human Resource Officer Yolanda Hardy.

The vote came as part of the board’s “consent agenda,” a series of decisions OK’d in about 30 seconds with no comment, which is normal for that particular part of the meeting.

Both Campbell and Hardy had been placed on paid administrative leave in October, but no explanation was given at the time.

Mary Rosinski, an Evanston resident and former City Council candidate addressed the board, saying “the public deserves to know” the truth about the two departing officials.

Rosinski said that between them, Campbell and Hardy made more than $350,000 a year, and wondered if their full salaries would be paid.

There was no response.

Rosinski also questioned the theft of nearly $50,000 from ETHS, a 2020 incident which was made public last year.

An ETHS employee’s email account was hacked, a fraudulent invoice was created and paid, and the money ended up in a California bank account, according to both the school and police.

Rosinski addressed this issue as well, saying, “I don’t want this pushed under the carpet.”

Superintendent Eric Witherspoon said that District 202 has insurance to cover hacking incidents such as this, and all of the losses were covered.

“It cost the district zero,” he said, because it was determined that the breach originated out of the district, and in fact, out of state.

There have been no arrests yet. The case was referred to police in Bakersfield, California, because the stolen ETHS money allegedly ended up in a bank account owned by a Bakersfield resident.

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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