May 31, 2013 – A tornado touched down in Broken Arrow on Thursday, May 30th. Just typical spring weather in Oklahoma? Or was it the result of a massive disturbance in the Force?
Yesterday, May 30th, Jim Sisney finally caught a glimpse of reality, and agreed to settle the lawsuit he filed over four years ago. He has dismissed charges over the years against other defendants he named, including Broken Arrow Public Schools, its attorney, Mike and Narissa Rampey of Air Assurance, and Dr. Hudkins, but always maintained the charges against the three board members who bravely stood up to his bullying antics and did what had to be done – fired him. As part of the settlement, Sisney was required to issue an apology to the board members, to be publicized as they see fit. Click here for the document: Press Release 20130530 Final
The terms of the settlement are confidential. Since only Sisney’s side leaks things, and then only when they benefit his storyline, we will never know what other concessions he had to make. It’s a good bet that Sisney will not want to divulge any of the terms. He is already banned from working as an administrator in Oklahoma public schools as part of his bargain on the bribery charges; in addition, he is required to pay $9,500 to the school foundation. It’s a far cry from what he cost the District, the state, and defendants he named, but we can only hope he has also been forced to pay some restitution in this case also.
Although the settlement itself is confidential, the board members are finally free to discuss the controversy. They can finally explain what really happened and why they took the steps they did. Note that there is no apology required from them.
Imagine what it would feel like as a volunteer board member, to be threatened, slandered, cursed at, and blocked from doing your job by the superintendent you as a board member employ. Imagine how it would feel to suddenly have all the news outlets in Broken Arrow and Tulsa accusing you of running a clandestine, crooked operation to steal money from the school district you serve. Imagine seeing the TV reports announcing that you cruelly plotted to destroy a hard-working star superintendent. Imagine you can’t explain anything to all the people who are jumping to conclusions, gossiping about you, and posting nasty, hurtful comments. Imagine you have a lawsuit filed against you, an ignorant, outraged community trying to kick you off the school board, and state representatives trying to frame you in a state audit. Worst of all, imagine your friends, who you thought knew you better than that, turning their backs on you.
That is the world our three board ladies have lived in for the past five years, starting with the bizarre manipulative behavior Sisney started displaying in Spring 2008. They agreed to settle even though they have a compelling case against Sisney, because they really just want this hell to be over. The media outlets fell all over themselves to join in smearing their reputations, but we can’t count on them to set the record straight. The true story is much more interesting than the invented one, but the media would have to admit their horrendously unprofessional bias if they were to tell that story. We owe it to Maryanne Flippo, Sharon Whelpley, and Shari Wilkins to make sure the Broken Arrow community understands what really happened. They deserve to have their reputations back; all the more so because of the integrity and class they have shown throughout this entire ordeal.
Congratulations to The Three Amigos!