Montgomery Co. Retaliating Against Whistleblower

Another day, another Montgomery County Schools scandal. What, you thought we’d let up with that?

No, this isn’t about a school resource officer with several arrests for violent crimes acting as a vice principal. Or about him coaching little kids. Or disciplining children of parents that superintendent Joshua Powell doesn’t like.

This is about PR director/child care director Kristi Carter. You’re familiar with her if you’re a regular reader.

Specifically, one of her child care employees that she’s been targeting for quite some time. Because she wrongly suspects this employee leaking information on Topix (it’s not her) and ignorantly attempted to blame her with the theft of an iPad. She didn’t steal that iPad. We’ve kinda scratched the surface on that story a bit already.

There’ll be more about it next week, which will surely cause drama at the next school board meeting. Sit tight for that. A slow burn is always better than a flash.

Carter is also allegedly attempting to retaliate against Hall for refusing to lie to state officials and for providing damning details to them.

On top of that, Carter also advised Hall to mishandle/misreport food data. In fact, Hall — in a text message — told Carter that she wouldn’t put her food report where it didn’t belong. Carter then sent that text message (she’s in blue) to another colleague (her name is Mary) to make fun of Hall refusing to do something potentially illegal.

Mary then shared the message with yet another colleague. Her name is Carolyn and she’s the daycare supervisor at Mapleton Elementary. You can read her alleged response for yourself.


SEE FOR YOURSELF

We confirmed with Hall that she sent such a message to Carter.

To say their behavior is unprofessional would not be a stretch.

How we know this employee is being targeted:










FROM LEAKED MONTGOMERY COUNTY DATA

That employee is Jennifer Hall. On Monday, she received her annual review from Carter. It was complete on May 13 but wasn’t discussed until Monday, May 26. Unfortunately for Carter, there were several witnesses, there’s an audio recording and there’s no way for her to run from this mess.

Rather than hold Hall’s evaluation in a private room, respecting employee confidentiality, Carter held it in the cafeteria. With cafeteria staff, custodians and others present and able to hear everything.

According to Hall and others listening in, the review was beyond negative. Carter brought up a comment Hall allegedly made to a co-worker that started a simple conversation about the embarrassing billboard we told you about. Which… what on earth? Interesting note: The evaluation was finished on May 13, billboard discussion took place on May 22.

It was a bizarre mess. So bizarre, in fact, that Hall refused to sign the evaluation until after she spoke with an attorney.

And then Hall handed out a signed rebuttal letter at Monday evening’s school board meeting:


CLICK TO ENLARGE LETTER

Here’s a transcript if you find the letter a bit too blurry to read easily:

I’m presenting this letter in what I consider to be retaliation against me as a result of being a whistleblower. I have always had glowing evaluations with excellent remarks made about my performance. My problem started last year when Mrs. Carter had told me to lie to the State Childcare Licensing. When I didn’t lie as I had been instructed, retaliation was immediate, first with less than two weeks of school left Mrs. Carter removed me from my position sending me to MSE. My fourteen years as a classified employee its very odd I suddenly start having problems from Mrs. Carter after I told State Licensing the truth instead of lying as I was instructed to do. After Mrs. Carter met with me a week later she and Jaqui Johnston come to MSE accused me of being on topix a gossip social website. Later I ask Mrs. Johnston to show me her proof to back up hers and Carter’s accusations. Mrs. Johnstons reply was she was told. Carter and Johnston were basing their accusations without any legal documentation to support their claims. I have all meetings recorded. Ive also filed a claim against Mrs. Johnston with EPBS who is investigating this matter.

Another co-worker and I were the topic of a meeting, which was clearly orchestrated by Mrs. Carter to have something derogatory to use against me. My years of working in Montgomery County Schools I have never had a problem or been subjected to what I call unprofessional behavior.

Although evaluations are supposed to be done in May, Mrs. Carter didn’t do mine until August of 2013. This year when she started my evaluation Mrs. Carter refused because suddenly there’s a problem for her to be recorded. I’m only protecting my rights as an employee plus it also a win- win situation for Mrs. Carter later down the road should a lawsuit be filed against her and the school system.

Jennifer B. Hall
-signature-

After all board members (along with Joshua Powell) were seated, Hall handed everyone a copy.

Media folks and others in attendance of the meeting tell us their reactions were priceless. It seems no one expects these school employees to stand up for themselves. Now that it’s finally happening, they’re mortified. They should be. Because we have several years worth of emails, text messages, documents, recordings and more that seem to prove many of these folks who fear they’re being targeted really ARE being targeted. Retaliated against. Threatened. Fired. Some have already filed lawsuits. Many more will.

If Carter and Powell continue to target Hall, there’s no doubt in our minds or the minds of our attorneys that she’ll have plenty of ground for filing suit. What you’ve read here barely scratches the surface.

You an employee of Montgomery County Schools with a story to tell? We don’t have to use your name. Get in touch.

Additionally, we’re hearing reports from several sources that Hall was reprimanded for videotaping the school board meeting (it’s open to the public) and allegedly posting on Topix, despite the district being unable to prove that. Hall says she has not received a reprimand at the time of publication.

Do you smell the retaliation? Because we do.