Cleveland County Schools-Trouble in Paradise Part II. Un-indicted Criminals In Charge

Report By Robert A. Williams

Folks, Remember Part I of this series regarding the Personnel Report that caused the split vote on the CCS Board’s August 11, 2014 Board Meeting? The vote where Board Members Kathy Falls and Danny Blanton voted NO and Roger Harris didn’t vote, but was counted as an “AYE” vote. The Draft of the School Board Minutes read:

MOTION to approve personnel items as recommended by the superintendent.

Motion by Shearra B Miller, second by Phillip W Glover.
Final Resolution: Motion Carries
Yea: John C Hamrick, Shearra B Miller, Phillip W Glover, Roger M Harris, Richard Hooker, Jerry D Hoyle, Donnie O Thurman
Nay: Danny L Blanton, Kathy B Falls

Well folks, I found out what the problems was at the unlikeliest of places; at the American Legion World Series baseball game this past Saturday night during the New Jersey vs. Michigan game. CCS had recently hired one hundred ninety (190) new people and fired (or got rid of in some way) one teacher with eighteen (18) years experience. The teacher that was fired allegedly did nothing wrong at CCS, but supposedly she did not have some qualification that is now required for the same job that she had been in for so long. I smell a rat somewhere in all of this.

So, I checked the Personnel Reports listed in the August 11, 2014 Meeting Personnel Report section as well as the July 21, 2014 Personnel Reports. Lots of new hires but no dismissals in the August 11, 2014 report. Lots of new hires in the July 21, 2014 and three dismissals. These three dismissals did not match the story I heard Saturday night from a reliable source and was not discussed like the August 11 report. Something had to have been hidden in the August 11, 2014 report that all the CCS Board knew about but shut down Roger Harris, Danny Blanton and Kathy Falls from talking about.

Now we are in legal territory. Like, I mean breaking the law legal territory!!! What law? you might ask. Well, if the teacher was fired or dismissed and the Personnel Report does not show the personnel action was firing or a dismissal, then the record has been falsified and that is illegal, big time. Then the fact that all the Board members knew it, then they are in effect conspiring to falsify the record. Conspiracy is another big time illegal act-a felony. But that is not all.

There are other laws in play here also. The CCS Board Chairman Jack Hamrick, Co-Chairperson Shearra Miller and the Board majority would not allow Roger Harris, Kathy Falls and Danny Blanton have a discussion to amend the original motion to accept the Personnel Report that was submitted by Shearra Miller and seconded by Phillip Glover. Harris, Blanton and apparently Kathy Falls too would have rather broken down the long Personnel Report into more and perhaps individual sections and then vote on those individual items. That would have allowed discussion of the problem by the full CCS and to correct any problems the Board would have regarding personnel policy. This is exactly what the public has been calling for the CCS Board to do, oversee CCS. But someone said there would have to be a Closed Session for that. Well, North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11(a)(6) clearly states “General personnel policy issues may not be considered in a closed session.” This is a part of what is usually called “The Open Meetings Law.” When Roger Harris, as the Board Parliamentarian, was hesitating as described fully in Part I, Mr. Harris had a legal responsibility to ensure the Board’s Chairman and Co-Chairperson’ parliamentary shenanigans were not causing the Board meeting to sink into illegal territory. Mr. Harris appears to be the Board member who is the biggest stickler for parliamentary and legal details, but he remained silent as illegal activity was coming down on the Board. Of course every Board member has an equal responsibility to obey the laws they swore to uphold; and ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking the law or allowing the law to be broken by others on the Board. In our opinion Mr. Harris should be he held most responsible, along with Jack Hamrick, Shearra Miller and Phillip Glover with the CCS Board’s illegal activity. Richard Hooker, Jerry Hoyle and Donnie Thurman, Jr. were strangely silent in this episode, so they must be held accountable for their actions, or inaction in this case. Kathy Falls and Danny Blanton voted NO, but they also did not fully use the parliamentary procedures in Robert’s Rules of Order to better separate the illegal activity from also falling upon themselves.

So, what do we have here? Several violations of the law perpetrated by the CCS Board members. And what do we call people who violate laws? Criminals????

Let’s Look up “Criminals.” This is what the Google dictionary says:

crim•i•nal
ˈkrimənl/

noun
(noun: criminal; plural noun: criminals)

1. a person who has committed a crime.
“these men are dangerous criminals”
synonyms:
lawbreaker, offender, villain, delinquent, felon, convict, malefactor,
wrongdoer, culprit, miscreant; thief, burglar, robber, armed robber, gunman,
gangster, terrorist;
informal: crook, con, jailbird, hood, yardbird, perp; malfeasant
“a convicted criminal”

adjective
adjective: criminal

1. of or relating to a crime.
“he is charged with conspiracy to commit criminal damage”
synonyms:
unlawful, illegal, illicit, lawless, felonious, delinquent, fraudulent,
actionable, culpable; villainous, nefarious, corrupt, wrong, bad, evil, wicked,
iniquitous;

informal: crooked; malfeasant
“criminal conduct”

(Note that the bolded words above are my own opinion of the words that best describe the CCS Board Members actions during the Personnel Report section of the August 11, 2014 Board meeting.)

Now, for some questions:

1. Q. Why won’t the Cleveland County District Attorney prosecute crime at CCS?
A. Don’t know, you will have to ask DA Rick Shaffer that question. It is a fact that Shaffer did not prosecute the CCS employees who were involved with the Credit Card scandal. The candidates for DA, John Bridges and Mike Miller should be asked if they would prosecute criminal acts of elected officials. From my present knowledge of the District Attorney candidates, John Bridges would be the best candidate for lowering the boom on these types of crimes.

2. Q. How can you prove the information you were given is true and that the teacher was illegally dismissed?
A. This is a good question, but the correct answer is that I do not have to prove the allegation is true. The CCS Board members are elected officials and they have the responsibility and the burden of proof to prove to the citizens of Cleveland County that they are not crooks. Each and every CCS Board Member has the opportunity to tell the citizens what they consider is the truth of this matter (and every other matter that I write about) and such statements are welcome. I would be glad to print their comments, however, this Board of Education has previously shown a disdain for the public as shown by their refusing to meet with the public at the recent Townhall Meeting. Shearra Miller even stated that she “didn’t want to hear a bunch of complaints.”

3. Q. What can the people do to make our elected officials do the right thing in office?
A. Vote the bad officials out of office on Election Day. On November 4, 2014 we can get rid of the Shaffer DA regime by voting for John Bridges for DA. We can get rid of one of our most ineffective County Commissioners, Jason Falls, by single-shot voting for Willie McIntosh for County Commissioner. In November of 2015, we can vote out of office CCS Board Members Jack Hamrick, Jerry Hoyle, Shearra Miller, Richard Hooker and Roger Harris and install a brand new majority of CCD Board Members who can immediately make the changes necessary to turn CCS away from their wicked ways.

Okay Folks, See you at the Ballot Box on November 4, 2014. Bring someone with you. Bring a carload.

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