Montgomery Co. Schools Withholding Public Records In Ongoing Superintendent Scandals

We revealed that Montgomery County superintendent Joshua Powell’s Topix witch hunt was a sham yesterday. You may read all about it here.

An open records response, signed by Powell’s own hand, provided the proof that it was all a ruse.

Unfortunately for Powell?

KRS 61.878 — click here for the PDF — doesn’t permit him to withhold records like this by claiming attorney-client privilege.

So Bruce Walters, the guy who filed the original request, can definitely hit up the Attorney General for assistance.

We’ve also uncovered evidence of Powell attempting to withhold other documents in violation of open records laws in Kentucky.

Check out this letter from April/May 2013:


CLICK TO ENLARGE

Transcript of the response:

Re: Response to Open Records Request — Request for Mentoring on School Finance

Dear Mr. Walters:

On April 30, 2013, the Montgomery County School District received the following request from you:

“According to Josh Powell other school districts have asked for MOCO to mentor them on finance so I’am requesting a copy of all school districts that have asked MOCO to mentor them On school finance, any and all emails or letters and contact names of each and every district.”

The individuals and/or entities that I choose to mentor are not subject to public inspection and I select not to inform you. Instead, mentoring is considered professional collaboration among colleagues and relationships of this nature are typical and frequent in the public education sector.

Respectfully,

Joshua E. Powell

Fun stuff, isn’t it?

Unfortunately for Powell, he can’t withhold documentation like that because it’s public record. (Don’t worry, he never received requests like that, it’s just a fantasy)

Even if they weren’t public record? He claimed existence of those records during a public board meeting and with the media. Since they would be official forums of communication with the school district that aren’t exempted by the Kentucky Revised Statutes, Powell would have to hand those records over. If they existed.

And you wonder why Montgomery County can’t have nice things.