Montgomery Caught Withholding Again

A good portion of my daily life is spent going through Montgomery County Schools-related documents. Every week it seems like there are dozens (if not hundreds?) of pages of information that wind up in the ever-growing trove of data we have on the county. A lot of the material is leaked by individuals working in the school district and by folks in Frankfort. But I also file open records requests that often turn into stories you read here that contain PDFs and screengrabs.

Filing all those records requests hasn’t just allowed me to blow the lid off a small town pot of corruption. It’s also allowed me to catch sloppy people in the act of withholding public records.

Like this:


REDACTED DOCUMENT


UNREDACTED DOCUMENT

Jacqui Johnston, in responding to an open records request, redacted the name of an individual called to testify during the Education Professional Standards Board hearing of Joshua Powell. Despite the document never mentioning EPSB, of course.

She accidentally included an unredacted copy of the document in fulfilling the request. Maybe the dumbest mistake yet.

While some individuals called to testify were advised they were under a sort of temporary gag order preventing them from discussing the hearing during testimony, that’s long since been lifted.

There was nothing in place allowing a school district to keep secret the names of people called to testify. But that’s exactly what Johnston, one of Powell’s few remaining cohorts, continues to do.

Still wondering why Johnston’s job description was changed by the school board this week? Maybe why she’s no longer in charge of the district’s finances? Or maybe why we don’t trust anything that flows from the school district’s administrators?

Stunts like this, to say the least.

UPDATE —

Turns out Jacqui has been attempting to hide information from the attorneys representing the district in the lawsuit filed by Joshua Powell.

Check out the name of one of the files she sent (according to district officials) to attorney Elizabeth Deener:


FILENAME

Attempted to redact information sent to their attorneys!

But there’s nothing to see here, move along?

Heads should roll.