You want to talk about ridiculous, Mr. Swaim?

Note: This article was written by ROBIN READER (612) and was originally published on her website Broken Arrow Forum on July 9, 2010, and reappears here on this blog with her permission.

It was refreshing for me to see new Superintendent Jarod Mendenhall waive the ridiculous fee ($90) charged by his predecessor to a taxpayer for open records.”William Swaim, Broken Arrow Ledger Managing Editor, “Things looking up for school district“, 7/8/2010

You want to talk about ridiculous, Mr. Swaim? What’s ridiculous is the Federal lawsuit Sisney filed against the District. It never stood a chance, and everybody knew it. HE WAIVED HIS HEARING! There was NO possibility of the judge awarding him anything. The only way Sisney would have gotten anything at all would have been if the board had not offered him a hearing, and then all the judge would have done would be make the board give him his hearing! This involves a lot more than a $14,000 bonus, and lot more than a $90 pest fee. Why no righteous indignation?

What’s ridiculous is Sisney adding the District to his defamation case, on the grounds that the District breached his contract. He already admitted in his federal deposition that the District fulfilled the requirements of his contract! The District did everything right in firing Sisney, whether you like it or not. His breach of contract charges don’t stand a chance. This is costing us MORE money. Where’s your righteous indignation?

What’s ridiculous is Ritze and Reynolds trying to get out of testifying – for heaven’s sake, Ritze is even on Sisney’s witness list! If Ritze is so sure Sisney was railroaded, and Reynolds is so sure BA Schools is hiding massive corruption (computers seized! subpoenas issued!), why won’t they testify for the good of all? Where’s your TRANSPARENCY battlecry?

What’s ridiculous is the Ledger printing FOUR – yes FOUR – articles about a Sisney conspirator harassing the school district having to reimburse the district for all their trouble, and articles and editorials about paying Gerber a $14,000 bonus for doing his job, and saying NOTHING at all about our having to pay Sisney for 8 1/2 months of NOT doing his job. Where’s your righteous indignation? What about the CHILDREN?

What’s ridiculous is the Ledger proclaiming general accusations with no investigation into whether they have any validity, printing old events as if they’re news, dredging up non-issues, dressing them up for the gullible public, and presenting them as more evidence of our incompetent and/or evil-intentioned administration, in an attempt to misdirect the public’s opinion. Where’s your journalistic integrity?

What’s ridiculous is the Ledger falling silent on any news that threatens the now utterly debunked “whistleblower superintendent railroaded by corrupt board members” storyline.

Things started looking up for the school district on October 6, 2008. It will be another great day when the Ledger starts reporting objectively.

Jolie wrote on July 8, 8:13 PM

Two articles and two editorials about charging a fee for providing copies of information to Beth Snellgrove and yet the Ledger has yet to even once report on the very important and much larger significant fact that Jim Sisney testified under oath in his December 22, 2009, deposition that he had no evidence or could even state one instance of any laws broken or wrongdoing on the part of AA, the district, or the three board members he sued or any material reason, only his ‘feelings’ that told him that the board was acting on bias when they chose to suspend and terminate his employment. Why is the Ledger not informing its readership and writing editorials on these very pertinent facts available in court documents, which the Ledger provided links to but no reporting on the facts within them or analysis of that information in the context of the controversy connected to it? Instead it chooses to make a huge issue out of this requested fee by Gerber, ignoring the elephant in the room: the fraud that Sisney committed when he went to the press and courts stating he had evidence of corruption and illegal activity and was being railroaded by three board members.

We had a incompetent, corrupt superintendent working at Broken Arrow not too long ago. His name is Jim Sisney, not Gary Gerber.

It would be refreshing and surprising if the Ledger staff acted like unbiased journalists for a change and did their job properly.

[Comment was not published by the Ledger]

Update 8/17/2011

The Ledger  and Mr. Swaim published all those articles and editorials chastising the District administration for Gerber’s $14,000 bonus – a bonus that was clearly defined in his contract and approved by the board – and not one word about the $250,000+ that Jim Sisney secretly gave in stipends to certain District administrators – bonuses that were neither in any contract nor approved by the board.  Not one word, Mr. Swaim?  Even in an editorial about the audit findings?  How do you justify that omission, especially in light of your purported concern over the Broken Arrow School District wasting Our Tax Dollars?