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Montgomery Co. Schools Supe Meltdown Update

December 5th, 2013 · 3 Comments

It’s well-established that superintendent Joshua Powell and his central office staff at Montgomery County Schools spend countless hours (during work) on gossip website Topix. We’ve covered it for several months, sharing text messages via his top staffers using district equipment. Yesterday we revealed that Powell and his crew are secretly using rumors on Topix in personnel files in order to damage their foes. You should go read that story if you haven’t already. Because it makes the latest from the Mt. Sterling Adocate look like generic toilet paper.


FRONT PAGE

In the article, it’s clear that Powell conned the paper’s managing editor into believing a “hiring committee” selected and hired his wife, Anna. Which didn’t happen, as school board members tell us he hired his wife. And other board members have made clear in other media outlets.

Powell also reveals that there’s another ongoing audit. Imagine that.

Monday, Powell told the Advocate that “regrettably, the district is undergoing yet another senseless audit.”

The audit, he said, again “is based solely on disgruntled individuals’ attempts to bring harm to the district, to me and to those associated with me. While arbitrary and anonymous complaints can result in an audit and further scrutiny for the school district, I find it disturbing that there is no accountability for those that improperly use the auditor’s office, or any other state entity for malicious and vindictive purposes,” Powell said.

Seems like it was yesterday when Powell was claiming that HE requested frequent and intense auditing. And really? Using state government for malicious and vindictive purposes? About that.

Here’s a funny bit:

Despite the clean audit report, chatter continued on the Internet about the financial state of Montgomery County Schools, and even more discussion surfaced when the Advocate reported in October that Powell’s wife, Anna, had been hired as the district’s Director of Special Projects.

Nope, that discussion surfaced because of the real reporting Page One did. Not the faux follow-up the Mt. Sterling Advocate stenographed. It should send chills down their spines that a group of people can run run circles around them without ever stepping foot inside the county, thanks to an extensive network of supporters and colleagues.

Some attempted revisionist history:

Kelly Murphy, vice chair of the Montgomery County School Board, stressed Monday correct protocols, policies and procedures were followed in the hiring of Powell’s wife.

“We know that all the policies and procedures were followed,” he said. “It was done by a separate committee.”

Other board members contacted did not return messages.

Separate committee? Uh, the board and district officials have made it clear that no committee hired Anna Powell – Joshua Powell did so. The board didn’t do it. A committee didn’t do it. But they’re continuing to snow the small town paper:

Powell previously told the Advocate it is not uncommon across Kentucky for superintendents to employ their spouses. In addition, board members (who are not involved in personnel issues) previously interviewed reiterated a hiring committee made the decision, not Powell, and that the school board attorney had not mentioned an issue with the matter.

Riiight.

What we’re most interested in? His feigned outrage at “social media” – aka Topix.

Things get good after the jump…

Take a look:

Social media sites are proving to be problematic, Powell told the Advocate.

“Enabling a disgruntled person to wreak havoc through social media (Topix) and anonymous complaints at the taxpayers’ expense significantly erodes the school leadership’s ability to lead, be innovative and creative and, most importantly, hold ineffective employees and service providers to a standard of excellence. This is true for school board members, superintendents and principals.”

The actions of disgruntled individuals, Powell said, place not only himself, but the district in a false light.

“I expect and anticipate that these individuals will be held accountable for their behavior in the not too distant future. I certainly support transparency and accountability on the part of the school district, but continuous investigation for a barrage of unfounded accusations impedes the educational mission,” he told the Advocate. “This has been an epidemic in our public school districts throughout the commonwealth for some time and I call on legislators to provide relief in the form of ethics and accountability with regard to this issue.”

You can smell the b.s. from a hundred miles away. Here’s a refresher for those just wading in:

  • New Rumors Of Nepotism Plaguing Montgomery Co. [October 21]
  • Edelen Ignoring Messes In Montgomery Co., Too? [October 22]
  • Update On Montgomery County Schools Messes [October 24]
  • Montgomery Co. Supe Is Reality-Challenged [October 28]
  • Hopefully Montgomery Co. Schools Drama Ends Soon [October 31]
  • Joshua Powell Finally Signed An Agreed Order [November 12]
  • Auditor Investigating That Possible Nepotism Mess [November 29]
  • Montgomery County Actors Muddying The Water [December 3]
  • Potential Nasty Lawsuit in Montgomery County [December 4]

Now that you’re caught up, you know that Powell and his leadership team are all-in on Topix. You know they use the website to anonymously attack those they despise. They go so far as using false information to go after their enemies, placing ridiculous information in secret/inaccessible personnel files.

Just for your entertainment, here’s a look at district employee Kristi Carter ordering Brett Higgins (technology) to bring the last 30 names and locations from Topix to the central office:


NO LONGER REDACTING NUMBERS

Just further illustrates that they’re actively involved at the highest levels of school administration.

The Advocate knows better and is complicit in the corruption. Keeping these details from its readership is unethical and indicative of what’s wrong with media in the Commonwealth.

Tags: Corruption · Education · Investigation · Mainstream Mistake

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jinx // Dec 5, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    The saddest things of all is the failure of the Courier Journal and the Lexington Herald “investigative” reporters failing to do any story on this. Heck, if it wasn’t for Page One exposing this the auditor probably would refuse to do an audit.

    AND this isn’t an isolated story of corruption. There are thousands in KY that the mainstream newspapers are ignoring. AND then they bitch and moan that the public no longer buy newspapers.

  • 2 jake // Dec 5, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Can’t really blame this on the papers. The C-J’s education reporter doesn’t cover that area. And the H-L has done at least one semi-decent story on the mess.

    This kind of story doesn’t sell to the public unless it gets nastier.

    Spoiler alert: This will get nastier as more and more information is revealed.

  • 3 how much longer // Dec 5, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    The question now is: how much longer until the Herald Leader runs another, more damning story, about Joshua Powell’s school district?

    And how much longer until the tv stations in Lexington become involved?