As we know, Sisney’s attorney issued a subpoena on August 2, 2012, requesting documents relating to Broken Arrow Schools’ participation in the E-rate program. When asked why these were relevant, she responded that they were interested in allegedly defamatory statements made on BrokenArrowForum.net, and the identity of their author. The defendants – Broken Arrow School District and the three board members – filed an objection, stating that since Sisney’s complaint did not reference anything on BrokenArrowForum, the documents were not relevant.
In my blog article, I questioned whether this was really what Sisney was after, or an excuse to get hold of the documents for another reason. After all, unless the website was being administered from within the school district’s computer infrastructure, the E-Rate documents would not show any connection. In addition, the timeframe of the requested documents was from July 1, 2007 through July 1, 2009. The website was not put into service until late July 2009. Why stop before it even went online?
After we all found out that the E-Rate documents were part of the evidence in the grand jury’s indictment of Sisney for bribery and conspiracy, Sisney’s attorney filed a response to the defendants’ objection. This time though, she did not mention BrokenArrowForum or any defamatory statements. She stated that they were really requesting the same E-Rate documents that had already been subpoenaed and received by the defendants. But wait, those involved events (the secret Windstream contract and Final Four trip) that took place before the timeframe of the requested documents. Again, missed it by that much.
The same day, September 4, 2012, the District and three board members withdrew their objection. Their filing explained that at the time the request was made, no one knew about the connection between the E-Rate documents and Sisney’s alleged bribery. But after the two felony indictments were unsealed against Jim Sisney, for bribery and conspiracy against a school district, the connection became clear and the relevance of the documents was established. To show just how very relevant these documents are to the defamation case, in which Sisney claims the defendants were accepting items of value from a vendor in exchange for awarding them a contract, their filing included the full audit and the indictments, which provide strong evidence showing Sisney was…accepting items of value from a vendor in exchange for awarding them a contract.
So what was Sisney after on August 2, 2012, before the grand jury met and issued the indictments against him? Why did the story change after the indictments? Why did they ask for documents from after Sisney illegally signed the secret Windstream contract in January 2007 and went on the free trip in March 2007, but before the BrokenArrowForum website went online in July 2009? Are those really the events they’re interested in? Or are they hoping to find something else between July 2007 and June 2009? Curious.