Joshua Powell Threatened Interim Montgomery County Superintendent In Yet Another Unbelievable Letter

Because of course he did.

Fired former superintendent of Montgomery County Schools Joshua Powell threatened Interim Superintendent Donald Pace in a letter on May 8.

It’s so crazy we had to read it a few times:


Text for your convenience:

Personal and Confidential

Donald Pace, Acting Superintendent
Phil Rison, Assistant Superintendent
Jacqui Johnston, Chief Administrative Officer

Nancy Moore

May 8, 2015

Acting Superintendent Pace:

Let this letter serve as a formal notification regarding my attempt to prevent you and other employees from participating in official misconduct. As you are aware, the Montgomery County Board of Education has suspended my contract and, also, sought removal from the Commissioner of Education. When I was suspended, the Board failed to appoint an Acting Superintendent and illegally managed the District for several weeks until the Board voted to hire you.

Prior to my suspension, I filed an official report with the Commissioner of Education and other entities in regards to the retaliatory and discriminatory behavior of the Board and individual members towards specific employees. The Montgomery County Board of Education and legal Counsel have been notified. In addition, I included very specific details regarding the misconduct — conduct that I believe is in violation of state and federal protections including but not limited to harassment, whistleblowing, and discrimination.

The employees specifically mentioned include:

Cindy Kincaid
Phil Rison and employed family members
Jason Woodard
Anna Powell
Kristi Carter
Susan Johnston
Brittany Combs

It has come to my attention that the District, at the Board’s direction, plans to non-renew the following employees:

1) Jason Woodward
2) Anna Powell
3) Lindsay Rison Maples
4) Megan Turner
5) Megan Floyd
6) Julie Abney
7) Susan Johnson

Planning to non-renew most, if not all, of available special education department members so as to minimize the appearance of targeting Dr. Anna Powell will not be a sufficient defense to prevent litigation and the obvious attempt to “mask” the tactic is pathetic.

I want to also express my sincere disappointment in the manner in which my private and protected information has been illegally shared with others. As District employees are aware, my information is federally protected and and I believe the behaviors to actionable. In addition to this, specific employees have attempted to interfere with the civil proceeding involving the Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB) and me. In addition to this and despite my requests, my private information has been maliciously managed with intent to harm. Also, specific employees have participated in workplace bullying and mobbing and have harassed, sabotaged, and intimidated for the purpose of constructively terminating my spouse, Dr. Anna Powell. Let me be clear in saying that certified administrators are responsible for their own workplace behaviors, especially in regards to ethical and legal conduct even though superiors (e.g. board members, administrators, attorneys) and self-preservation may influence.

In addition to this, I have been arbitrarily denied contractual obligations due to the fact that your office has maliciously interpreted the calculations, despite being reviewed and approved by others. This denial will most certainly produce a short and long-term negative impact and, since you are Acting Superintendent, I expect you to provide immediate resolve in terms of immediately releasing the funds and preventing the malicious behavior of involved employee(s).

The treatment that my spouse has received is reprehensible. Since my suspension, the Board and District employees have treated her horrifically. She has been subjected to a hostile environment, embarrassed and humiliated, and ridiculed in an attempt to constructively end her employment with the District. It is my sincere belief that the malicious treatment is a direct result of both her disability and her association to me. I have reviewed the documentation that will serve to support the accusations and remain in disbelief as to how blatant the behavior has been. In regards to other employees, I will most certainly provide recommendations and encouragement to each.

Let this letter inform you and any employee that has assisted with the illegal treatment to any of the above employees, or other employees, that any further mistreatment or retaliation will be met with force. Furthermore, in the event that any of the above employees receive any modifications to their current employment, including non-renewal, termination, transfer, or other, I will personally guarantee that each individual is provided substantial information and testimony to support a claim against the Board, individual Board members, specific employees (including any employee that participates in any form (e.g. hand delivery or conversations regarding non-renewal, etc.) and, most importantly, you in your individual and official capacity as Acting Superintendent.

I strongly advise you, and anyone who participates in the behavior, to verify the insurance coverage from the District and your personal homeowner and/or liability insurance as well as consult with a private attorney. I’m confident that you will discover the District’s insurance coverage has been exhausted and Board Attorney Shelley Williams has declared that the general fund is unable to pay for litigation outside the coverage of the District’s insurance provider, meaning that you and any individual named to be solely responsible for legal costs.

This letter has made you aware and it in the event that you select to recklessly proceed and let me assure you will not be immune from civil action. Additionally, the investigative report conducted by Sturgill, Turner, Barker and Maloney does not provide justification to interfere with the employment of both Kristi Carter and Anna Powell and understand that both the report from the State Auditor’s Office and the firm have absolutely no value in judicial or civil court and most certainly will not protect any illegal behaviors (from you or others) from being actionable.

While I realize that this may put you in a tough position, I must say that I remain unsympathetic and can only guarantee that I will proceed, without hesitation.

With unrivaled sincerity,

Joshua E. Powell, Ph.D.
Montgomery County Public Schools

An individual who does not wish to be identified, either by name or position, who is tied to the Montgomery County Attorney, tells me the letter has been referred to them and law enforcement has been provided the letter. District officials have not responded to requests for comment.

Other than the entire crazy letter, this line stands out:

Let this letter inform you and any employee that has assisted with the illegal treatment to any of the above employees, or other employees, that any further mistreatment or retaliation will be met with force.