Deeper Look At Problems In Montgomery County Schools: Chief Administrative Officer Edition

Last week we hit another jackpot in the Montgomery County Schools saga.

It comes as no surprise to anyone following the story, no. But discovering that assistant superintendent/personnel head/finance head/whatever Jacqui Johnston is still knee-deep in the Joshua Powell scheme is an eye-opener for the interim superintendent, Donald Pace.

Editorialization aside, let’s dig in.

Jacqui Johnston spent nearly two months trying to withhold public records from us. We’ve written about it a few times previously but it was delay, delay, delay. This person is on vacation, that person is sick, there are thousands upon thousands of pages (there weren’t), you know the drill. Stall tactic after stall tactic.

Shortly after we filed an open records request in February, Johnston was advised by the school district’s legal counsel to fulfill the request. Instead of doing that, she tried to get the Office of the Attorney General to shut us down:


JOHNSTON TO OAG

Unfortunately, they shut her down:


OAG TO JOHNSTON

Funny how that works. Especially enjoy the frowny face.

Johnston attempted to claim she couldn’t fulfill our request because there were thousands upon thousands of pages. But we knew better because sources at the Kentucky Department of Education had already told us just how many records were available. That information was communicated to board attorney Michelle Williams, who then forced Johnston to provide the documents to her for review. And whattya know? Exactly the number of documents we suggested were available — not thousands.

She panicked and went to KDE to find out how we knew just how many records she was attempting to hide:


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Note: Of course I’ve stopped playing nicely with her. She’s spent a year pulling these stunts, hiding information, deleting emails, stalling and covering up.

Fascinating, isn’t it? Caught withholding records, called out on it and still trying to meddle.

One of the scams Johnston attempted to pull? Trying to print out hundreds of pages of email in an attempt to rack up fees:


WHOOPSIEDAISY

Something that’s the opposite of legal.

Our search also revealed documents that suggest Johnston tried to withhold information from the State Auditor of Public Accounts during the Joshua Powell-Anna Powell nepotism investigation. ELPO, Powell’s personal law firm, gave her advice during the process.

Check it out:



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Check out what Jacqui attempted to hide:


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That didn’t work out too well for her.

She kept Joshua Powell in-the-loop:


JOHNSTON TO POWELL

Really in-the-loop:


MORE JOHNSTON TO POWELL

Still wondering why Montgomery County Schools are screwed up?

There’s way more where this came from.