Some highlights from day two (yesterday) of Joshua Powell’s due process hearing in Montgomery County.
POWELL AT THE BENCH
Wondering what Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday had to say during his deposition in the Joshua Powell-Montgomery County Schools case?
- When asked when he first learned of the troubles in Montgomery County, Holliday said it was as he drove through town to see all of the FIRE JOSH POWELL signs
- Holliday had a private meeting with Powell in 2014 during which he advised him to look for other employment
Powell didn’t want that entered into the record but the hearing officer entered it anyway.
When his turn came to call witnesses, he told the hearing officer that he’s tried to come up with some but just can’t get in touch with any of them. So he asked board attorney Michelle Williams and some board members to be called. Note: the hearing broke for lunch from 10:45 to 12:00 so he could go try to wrangle up some witnesses.
He also had a ton of recordings. Which, as you’ve read previously, were potentially obtained illegally at worst and unethically at best (closed board meetings). Included conversations with:
- Michelle Williams
- Current board chair Alice Anderson
- Former board member/chair Kenney Gulley
- Former board member Kelly Murphy
- Board member Donna Wilson
- Someone named Teresa Combs
Spoiler alert: you already know the recordings hurt him and no one else.
POWELL LOOKS OUT A WINDOW
Powell said he’s learning as he goes, mostly from Google. Yep, really.
He ultimately used Mike Owsley as a witness. He’s the former school board attorney involved in all of his messes. He called in to speak via telephone. It went about as well as you’d expect.
Shortly after returning from lunch, the hearing officer called yet another break so Powell could try to contact witnesses. The officer said he was giving him leeway because he lost his attorney just before the hearing. Think about it for a second, though: the man has known for several weeks when his hearing would take place and he wasn’t able to round up a handful of loyal witnesses? Really?
The person he rounded up was Tim Southern. Of KEA infamy. The guy who was transferred and forced into retirement after Joshua Powell’s shenanigans.
TIM SOUTHERN TAKES THE STAND
Instead of asking anything important, Powell questioned him about working for the superintendent prior to him. Because… who even knows? Southern said finances and morale were both bad under the previous supe, which we all know isn’t based in reality. Went on for quite a while.
Here’s a look at Southern as he left the stand, verbally criticizing the school district’s legal team as he departed, yelling at them about how much money they’re being paid:
SOUTHERN LEAVING THE STAND
You probably won’t be surprised to hear huge portions of what he had to say was stricken from the record.
The least surprising stunt Powell tried to pull yesterday was an attempt to have Jennifer Hall removed from the open, public hearing.
POWELL GIVES HALL SIDEEYE
Because it’d be terrible for the taxpaying public that’s supported his years-long mess to find out what he says and does during the hearing he requested.
Hearing officer Stuart Cobb, from Jack Conway’s office, regularly fell asleep:
SNOOZING — SORRY FOR THE POTATO QUALITY ZOOM
Giving Powell as much leeway as he desired.
After one particular outburst, Powell, along with Hughes, Southern and one of the deputies guarding the proceedings, claimed it was because his blood sugar was low.
This has gotten so crazy I’m not sure I’m going to be able to cover it. Honestly, crazy is an understatement. Almost can’t even listen to the recording.
Who wants a listen?