Too little, too late, really. And they only got part of the story correct.
Here’s a taste from the Mt. Sterling Advocate – May 25, 2017:
Former Montgomery County Schools’ employee Kelly Wallace has reached a $500,000 settlement in a lawsuit against former superintendent Josh Powell and the Montgomery County Board of Education.
As part of the settlement the defendants in the suit “neither admit nor deny liability of any sort.” The release of all claims “is made as a compromise to avoid expenses and to terminate all controversy and/or claims for injuries or damages of whatsoever kind, nature, known or unknown,” the settlement states.
The parties agree to bear their own costs.
She claimed to have suffered loss of wages and benefit, embarrassment, humiliation and mental and emotional distress.
There’s this gem at the end of the article:
The school district previously settled two other cases with former employees. Former childcare worker Jennifer Hall settled a lawsuit for $140,000 against the district, Powell and former director of childcare Kristi Carter. Former athletic director Gene Heffington received $150,000 for a “release of all claims.” He had not filed a lawsuit.
That’s how you know Tom Marshall and the paper didn’t put in much reporting effort.
Montgomery County Schools have paid out waaaay more than two settlements involving Joshua Powell.
Combined with Kelly Wallace, Montgomery County Schools has paid out a total of six monstrous settlements. Five of them I’ve reported on extensively since 2013. Another involved a mysterious school bus incident. It’s one that Alice Anderson, the board chair, once told me she didn’t believe was legitimate and was part of a cover-up. The board attorney loosely conveyed the same sentiment. As did people in Powell’s circle.
Once Jim Dusso settles (he will – he’s not ever going to be able to hold those corrupt fuckers accountable otherwise), that’ll make seven. Not to mention prior settlements in Powell’s previous school districts. Kentucky taxpayers, via insurance and other means, have been on the hook for millions upon millions of dollars.
Funny how that paper still can’t be bothered to do real reporting on the biggest and most expensive scandal to hit Montgomery County in decades. People there deserve better. It’s been gut-wrenching to watch those folks suffer – even as they went out of their way to help me report on one of the most insane scandals in the state. They’ve suffered. The local newspaper couldn’t be bothered to hold any of the powerful accountable. Just left everyone in the dark. Half-assed their way along.
Also hear a certain education reporter at the Herald-Leader has decided to do a bit on the settlements. So you can expect that to be just shy of mediocre. Can’t exactly claim credibility or generate interest in developing sources after deliberately ignoring the nightmare for nearly five years. If I could do it with no resources and for year after year? That reporter has no excuse. They, too, have failed Central Kentuckians who deserve better.
Now that I’ve had time to process the Montgomery County-Joshua Powell disaster and most of those involved have received some form of settlement? I’m ready to start sharing all the things (yes, all the things) I’ve never before published. So look for that in the coming months. Everything from recordings that the plaintiffs never released to emails from myriad characters to video of those responsible for the scandal(s).
A note to attorneys and school board members: Better get your Xanax and Klonopin refilled. Always told you I was a man of my word and would release everything when victims got justice. True to that word, the time has come.
Now for a shameless plug.
Want to see more years-long digging and reporting that results in real change in Kentucky? Here’s how:
You’ll help pay for open records requests, part of the hosting fees (let’s get real – there aren’t enough donations to cover that beast) and for postage.
When you shop via Amazon or sign up for Cricket, you help cover the expense of getting smartphones temporarily into the hands of sources who need to securely communicate without fear of retribution. That’s how I accomplished most of the work in Montgomery County. When you buy these silly magnets (they look better in real life!), you’re doing the same. You aren’t giving *me* money.
P.S. Matt Bevin finally reorganized the Education Professional Standards Board via executive order and he DESERVES PRAISE for it. Click here to access basic details – pages 7 and 8. More on that in the coming days. Note: What doesn’t deserve praise is Bevin’s decision to make EPSB actions appealable to the Kentucky Department of Education, which is a step back to pre-2000. That is a disaster waiting to happen and KDE has NO BUSINESS meddling with EPSB. Other than that, though, EPSB needed to be gutted and flushed.