Sunday, November 23, 2014

Tracking Down TROOP From TOPIX.COM! - (Reposted)

The following article that's posted below was originally written and posted on the FoxC6Watchdogs blog on Saturday March 15, 2014. However, I pulled it down on Monday March 17 at the request of our attorney because he didn't want to "let the cat out of the bag" just yet. However, as you read about the timing of my article and the timing of former Fox C-6 superintendent Dianne Critchlow's FMLA leave, there's good reason to believe that my article did "let the cat out of the bag" so to speak back then.

My original article was written the day after I learned that our attorney had been able to obtain the IP addresses from the TOPIX.COM website for many of the defamatory and libelous posts that had been made about me and others. It may be difficult for others to understand the adrenaline rush of knowing that after several years of online bullying that the person or persons responsible for making the defamatory posts would finally be known.

My original article contained a "how to" for using Google to quickly search for posts made on specific TOPIX threads using their unique thread ID and specific keywords. I recommend reading that section because you can apply the same technique for finding things that are much more productive than trying to track down libelous posts.

My original article was written in order to teach others how to quickly and easily do their own digital archaeological digging into the TOPIX.COM website. Knowing how to locate specific posts by keyword and unique thread ID that were written over the last several years can save you a lot of time in reading since there were numerous TOPIX threads related to the Fox C-6 School District on TOPIX. So it's good to know how to narrow your search to a specific thread. It appeared that many of the defamatory posts had been made by only a few individuals based on their language and keywords used.

When I originally wrote the article in March 2014, I didn't have any solid evidence as to where the defamatory comments were coming from but I had a very good idea. It wasn't until May 2014 that it was finally revealed to the public via the news that my suspicions were proven correct. That's also when everyone learned that there were several individuals involved in making defamatory comments.

What A Coincidence!
One of the really interesting things that I thought was such a coincidence back in March 2014 was the fact that Dianne Critchlow took Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave right around the same time that my article was published. In fact, there was a school board meeting on Tuesday March 18, 2014 right after my article was posted and former Fox C-6 superintendent Dianne Critchlow was suspiciously absent from that board meeting because she was on FMLA leave.

Critchlow had posted on her Twitter account that she would be taking FMLA leave. She has since deleted her Twitter account so I can't provide a link to her original post.

It certainly made me think that perhaps my article may have lead to Critchlow needing to take FMLA leave knowing that whoever had been posting on TOPIX as TROOP was going to eventually be discovered.

So, was it just a coincidence that former Fox C-6 superintendent Dianne Critchlow decided to take FMLA leave right around the time that this article was first published?

It definitely makes you wonder, doesn't it?

On March 20, 2014, I wrote an article documenting the fact that Fox C-6 Assistant Superintendent Tim Crutchley filled in for then Superintendent Dianne Critchlow because she was out on FMLA leave. Tim Crutchley thanked outgoing school board members Linda Nash and Dan Smith at that meeting and presented them with small thank you gifts for their service to the Fox C-6 School District.

Since March of 2014 we've learned a lot about who was behind the posts. It's been documented via a subpoena to TOPIX that the IP address for the very first post made by someone calling themselves TROOP 5 OR 6 was traced back to the home of Dianne and Jamie Critchlow. It's good to know and be able to document that my suspicions were correct all along.

Our lawsuit against "John Doe" has finally named names and has been served to all of those named in the suit. It has certainly took a lot longer than I ever thought it would to get to this point. It's even more understandable now as to why there was so much effort to silence any critics of our district.

Anyway, this was one of my favorite articles to date that I had written back then because I knew that the information needed to track down the person or persons responsible for making defamatory comments about me and others would finally be known. So I was definitely disappointed in having to remove it from my blog back then.

Hopefully republishing this article will help educate others as to why you should always choose your words carefully and thoughtfully before making disparaging remarks in online forums. You're not as anonymous as you may think you are!

I only made a couple of typographical and grammatical corrections to the article before republishing it. Otherwise, the article is being reposted as it was originally written and posted on the FoxC6Watchdogs blog on March 15, 2014. I also changed the color of the hyperlinks to red to make them stand out more. The title of this article is also the original title of the article with the exception of the "(Reposted)".

Below is the article that I originally posted on Saturday March 15, 2014 on the FoxC6Watchdogs blog.


Tracking Down TROOP From TOPIX.COM!
It doesn't take a Sherlock Holmes to have a pretty good idea who the person might be that was calling himself TROOP on the TOPIX.COM forum last year. Now, that a subpoena has been filed with TOPIX to obtain IP addresses for TROOP's posts or "TROOP like" posts, it will be interesting to see if my assumptions and the assumptions of many others turns out to be true.

If my assumptions are accurate, it will be interesting to see how things turn out for TROOP and those who have been protecting TROOP. TROOP 18 stated that he was an employee of the Fox C-6 School District on March 23, 2013 when he wrote:
Dear quintet of opponents... the threat of physical violence isn't tolerated nor even funny.. The fact that you are now all clearly visable and completely exposed does not favor you. The employees of this district have had enough and will faithfully defend their administration and board.(employed and loyal). If you want to go redneck Hoosier on this...all loyal employees will gladly find a place and time. Trust me, there are hundreds of us. Talk is cheap. As is your posts
TROOP attacked just about anyone who criticized Superintendent Critchlow or the school board and even threatened those who dared to speak at school board meetings.

TROOP Was Very Emotionally Connected to Superintendent Critchlow
For those who don't know, TROOP (5 or 6, 11 or 18) was an anonymous poster on the TOPIX.COM forum who appeared last year after learning that signs had been posted around the Fox C-6 School District about Superintendent Dianne Critchlow. I think that someone would have to be very emotionally attached to Superintendent Critchlow in order to write the things that TROOP wrote on TOPIX over the course of a couple of months last year. He was apparently very attached to Superintendent Critchlow's husband's ex-wife as well based upon his many attacks on her as well.

I never saw any of the signs, but since I've been considered a long time critic of Superintendent Critchlow and some of our school board members who have taken advantage of their position, I was immediately and falsely targeted by the person calling himself TROOP 5 or 6 as the person who had posted the signs.

I was definitely confused when I read TROOP 5 or 6's first post on January 24, 2013 because I didn't know anything about any signs that had been posted in the district. I go to school board meetings and email our school board members. I document school district issues on this blog and on Twitter. I don't hang signs!

However, it's good to know that others in our district have strong opinions about the problems caused by Superintendent Critchlow.

I always take the the high road when it comes to accomplishing my goals of cleaning up our school district. I've been providing facts and documentation for years to our school board about problems in the district but they've done nothing.

I've shared my information with others in our school district and for that Superintendent Critchlow sent me a Cease and Desist letter. I guess that's what superintendents do when they don't want the community to know the truth about what's been going on behind the scenes in their school district.

TROOP's assumptions that I was involved in posting signs was incorrect. The person who was posting signs and driving around the school district with them in the back of his truck was eventually discovered and he was sent a Cease and Desist letter as well for his efforts.

TROOP stepped way over the line with his very first post when he falsely accused me of being the person making and hanging the signs in our school district and posted that information online. TROOP also blamed another person that had spoken at a school board meeting and criticized our school district leadership.

The really sad thing is that TROOP made his accusations based upon information that could only have come from a school teacher at Lone Dell Elementary School. The comments that TROOP made in his first post came from a teacher wondering why a student appeared tired that day. The teacher apparently found out about the signs and made a very incorrect assumption that I was behind the signs and then told her principal or Superintendent Critchlow. That teacher's incorrect assumption somehow made it to TROOP.

It's quite easy to see that there are a few people in our school district who don't like me for documenting facts and asking questions about what's been going on in our school district over the last several years. That causes them to make incorrect assumptions about my character and how I work to resolve issues. 

It certainly leaves a lot of doubt about some of the people running our school district when they tout everywhere that Fox C-6 is a National District of Character when some of it's school leaders and staff act the way they do because they don't like people pointing out issues and concerns within our district.

I certainly had no idea what TROOP was talking about when I read his first post as TROOP 5 or 6 while at a basketball practice. But, I knew right away that TROOP had made assumptions that were wrong and he was making libelous comments that stepped way over the line. I had a pretty good guess as to who TROOP might be right away based on his language.

As TROOP continued to post comment after comment, he was making it easier and easier to narrow down the possibilities of who he might be. Very few people had access to the information that TROOP was posting online and knew the people to whom he was directing his comments.

Only a few people in the Fox C-6 Central Office could have known the information that TROOP was posting. So how did TROOP get his information? Did TROOP work in the Central Office or was he the spouse of someone who worked in the Central Office?

It didn't take too long for people who read and posted on TOPIX to start guessing who TROOP might be. Once they started to put two and two together and making suggestions as to who TROOP might be, TROOP went silent. TROOP didn't post for quite a while as TROOP after he posted on March 23, 2013 when he claimed to be a Fox C-6 employee.

TROOP made a revealing post on February 7, 2013 when he wrote, "Now, I will say this. From what I have heard there will be some sparks flying very soon for a few of you. Cue evil monster laugh...". 

TROOP's comment was made just a few days before a couple of other citizens in the district were sent Cease and Desist letters from the school district attorney for Superintendent Critchlow. Superintendent Critchlow or someone close to Superintendent Critchlow provided information to TROOP about the Cease and Desist letters. The school board members weren't aware that Cease and Desist letters had been sent out. TROOP must have a very close relationship with Superintendent Critchlow if he knew about the Cease and Desist letters before they were received by the individuals.

TROOP's comments focused on only a few people that he felt was criticizing Superintendent Dianne Critchlow and the school board. He focused on me and 2 others who had spoken at school board meetings; the person that was posting signs in the district; and Superintendent Critchlow's husband's ex-wife.

Who in the general public would care about Superintendent Critchlow's husband's ex-wife and make derogatory comments about her while making derogatory comments about people who spoke at board meetings?

Eventually, TROOP knew that I wasn't involved with the making of the signs after the person that was making them was sent a Cease and Desist letter. But, he was mad enough about the signs to blame them on me because he knew who I was.

TROOP went way too far with many of his comments and people called him out for doing so. Three of us that were bullied online and maliciously attacked by TROOP for bringing problems in the district to the attention of the school board filed a "John Doe" lawsuit last year against the person calling himself TROOP. The lawsuit has been filed and subpoenas were recently sent to TOPIX to obtain the IP addresses. 

Everyone should know by now that they aren't truly anonymous when they post online. I posted 18 comments on the TOPIX website between October 2010 and January 2011. I posted facts about issues going on in the Fox C-6 School District after finding the Fox High School Superintendent thread on TOPIX while doing a search for information about our district.

I was falsely blamed many times for posting comments on TOPIX over the last 3 years under different names. Superintendent Critchlow would like to think that I stooped to TROOP's level. I post facts and documents. TROOP attacked people for what they looked like and made defamatory and derogatory comments about people that warrants an immediate dismissal as an educator and a revoking of their teaching certificate.

If Superintendent Critchlow has been protecting TROOP as some have posted online, then the school board should have good cause for termination. Once all of this comes to light, our school board will have even more Public Relations problems to deal with.

The last post I made on TOPIX was a link to Mr. Critchlow's resume that he had posted on his LinkedIn account while looking for a coaching job in Texas. Mr. Critchlow removed his LinkedIn account shortly after I posted the link to his resume. My post asked why his resume didn't show any previous teaching experience. My post on TOPIX to his LinkedIn resume was deleted sometime after his LinkedIn account was deleted.

Supporters of Superintendent Critchlow and the board have been attacking me online for more than 3 years because I've been vocal about the problems in our school district.

Since people know who I am, they have a name to attack or bully me online because they can. I guess they think that they can say whatever they want anonymously and not get caught. But, it's just a matter of time.

One thing you'll notice is the language that TROOP uses over and over. He's so consistent that it also makes it very likely that TROOP was the same person that posted on TOPIX in December 2010 just one week after I first spoke at a school board meeting. TROOP may have also been the same person who was criticizing parents of Seckman High School students and defending the football coach at Seckman High School on another thread. You should search for and read some of the posts.

It's easy to find TROOP's posts because of the language he uses. He uses the word "inbred" quite often in his posts along with other words that I won't mention here. The word "inbred" was also used in the December 20, 2010 post that appeared after I spoke at the December 2010 board meeting.

At the 2010 board meeting, I asked our school board questions about their hiring practices. I asked them how they could have hired and promoted a person to a Director position who had only worked for the district for a couple of months and had been fired from a previous job for a DWI. I received no response from the school board in December 2010 but my questions provoked a response on TOPIX.

In December 2010 I found it strange that someone would post libelous comments on TOPIX.COM about me and my parents by naming me by my first name and inferring my last name by using TV character names for my parents first names. I guess that made the person making the comments feel pretty smart about themselves and think that their comments wouldn't be libelous if they didn't name me directly.

The post made on TOPIX on December 20, 2010 was made just two days before an article was published in the Arnold-Imperial Leader newspaper by Kim Robertson who had interviewed Mr. Jamie Critchlow. Jamie Critchlow is Fox C-6 Superintendent Dianne Critchlow's husband. The article discussed Mr. Critchlow's DWI arrest in Tyler, Texas and his being fired from Tyler Community College where he was the head football coach. The article also mentioned that I was at the school board meeting asking the school board questions about a person who had been hired by the district and promoted to a job paying $98,859 after only a couple of months working for the district.

Board member Cheryl Herman told me at the meeting to call the Central Office so I could be put in touch with someone who would be able to answer my questions. She obviously didn't understand that my question was meant for the school board. They were the ones who had approved the hiring of the individual. My questions were not intended for our school district administrators. The school board approved the hiring. That's why I was asking the board.

I asked the board at the time how they could promote someone to a position if they didn't have the certifications required for the position. I wanted to know how the school board could justify paying someone a salary of $98,859 to someone who had only worked for the district for 2 months after being hired as a Behavior Intervention Support Teacher and an assistant football coach.

I never received a response from our school board to my Public Comment questions after the December 2010 school board meeting. My comments were documented in the December 2010 board meeting minutes as "Concerns with the district". I don't believe that Superintendent Critchlow wanted the public to know what my "concerns" were in the board meeting minutes. That's how Superintendent Critchlow can keep the public in the dark.

I received an email response in May 2011 from Superintendent Brown (now Critchlow) informing me that Mr. Critchlow was certified by MO DESE. She said that he didn't make the $98,859 that I claimed that he made even though MO DESE records from data supplied by Fox C-6 documented his salary as $98,859 in their Core data. It also seemed as if Superintendent Brown took offense to my questions about Mr. Critchlow at the time. I don't know if her being offended had anything to do with the fact that she's now married to Jamie Critchlow or not.

It just seemed odd that someone out of the blue would post derogatory and libelous comments about me on TOPIX just prior to an article being written in the Leader newspaper about Jamie Critchlow. It was also odd that since there were only 8 people in attendance at the December 2010 school board meeting besides the Board of Education and Central Office administrators that anyone in the general public would even known that I had spoken at the board meeting besides those in attendance. People certainly didn't find out what I talked about from board meeting minutes. Back then, board meeting minutes weren't posted until after the next board meeting plus they only documented that I had "Concerns with the district".

So who could have been that upset to post the comments like those posted TOPIX on December 20, 2010?

It's definitely going to be interesting to see what turns up for the IP Addresses from the subpoena to TOPIX.COM. The findings may wake up the Fox C-6 community a bit more as to what's been going on in our school district for at least the last 5 or 6 years.

So how can you find some of the things that were posted on TOPIX.COM?

The easiest and quickest way is to use some of TROOP 5 or 6 or TROOP 11 or one of his other aliases favorite words in a Google search string like I've shown below. Using the Google search keyword site: allows you to restrict the domain name to TOPIX.COM (ie. site:TOPIX.COM).

Next you can add in the unique TOPIX thread identifier like the ones shown below to restrict the searches to a specific thread such as the Nepotism on Fox School Board thread or the Fox High School Superintendent thread or the Why Can't Fox and Seckman High Schools Win Football Games? thread as shown below:

TP57P8GF2PEQBL909 - Nepotism on Fox School Board
TUT6OGLPV1RMEEEO2 - Fox High School Superintendent
TG61O48KVPSPHOPUG‎ - Why Can't Fox and Seckman High Schools Win Football Games?

Next add in one of TROOP's favorite words that he used quite often such as "inbred""dumba$$""fat""$hit", "nimrod""a$$es", "disgruntled", "hags", "rejects", "tards", "demented", etc. to find some of the posts made by TROOP or those that used similar language.

TROOP also liked to make direct attacks towards me quite often so you can always use Simpson as another search word to see what a Fox C-6 employee who has adopted the Character Education Program thinks about people who bring concerns to our school board.

Here are some example google searches that you can use to find specific posts on TOPIX.COM:

Nepotism on Fox School Board
site:TOPIX.COM TP57P8GF2PEQBL909 inbred
site:TOPIX.COM TP57P8GF2PEQBL909 dumba$$
site:TOPIX.COM TP57P8GF2PEQBL909 fat
site:TOPIX.COM TP57P8GF2PEQBL909 disgruntled
site:TOPIX.COM TP57P8GF2PEQBL909 hags
site:TOPIX.COM TP57P8GF2PEQBL909 nimrod
site:TOPIX.COM TP57P8GF2PEQBL909 rejects
site:TOPIX.COM TP57P8GF2PEQBL909 tards
site:TOPIX.COM TP57P8GF2PEQBL909 demented
site:TOPIX.COM TP57P8GF2PEQBL909 $hit

Fox High School Superintendent
site:TOPIX.COM TUT6OGLPV1RMEEEO2 redneckery
site:TOPIX.COM TUT6OGLPV1RMEEEO2 inbred
site:TOPIX.COM TUT6OGLPV1RMEEEO2 dumba$$
site:TOPIX.COM TUT6OGLPV1RMEEEO2 fat
site:TOPIX.COM TUT6OGLPV1RMEEEO2 a$$es

Why Can't Fox and Seckman High Schools Win Football Games?
site:TOPIX.COM TG61O48KVPSPHOPUG inbred

Take note of the Locations listed on a lot of the posts that were made by TROOP and others using similar language. They typically came from Columbia, MO, Arnold, MO and United States (school possibly based on other posts). It's interesting to analyze the data when your tracking down those people who are anonymously attacking you and making false statements about you and others.

The post made by "redneckery" on December 20, 2010 a week after I spoke at the December 2010 school board meeting uses two of TROOP's favorite words, "inbred" and "dumba$$".

I wonder if it was just a coincidence or were they posted by the same person?

The original post from "redneckery" in December 2010 was deleted after I requested the IP information from TOPIX for the post.  I specifically asked TOPIX NOT to delete the post. Luckily, someone quoted the post on December 21, 2010 prior to the original post being deleted so it can still be found online.

TROOP and whoever else uses the same words as TROOP left a very nice trail of evidence for the Fox C-6 community to get a good idea of who TROOP might be.

Just recently, TROOP or someone using the same language as TROOP posted anonymously using the pseudonym of Nope and Milk sprayed from nose on January 28, 2014 on the Nepotism on Fox School Board thread using one of TROOP's favorite words, "inbred".

The comments made by TROOP and other pseudonyms over the last several years certainly demonstrate to the Fox C-6 community the incredible lack of commitment that some of our district employees have made to the Character Education Program as a National District of Character that's documented in our school district's Policies and Regulations.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Fox C-6 Announces New Superintendent Dr. James Wipke

Dr. James Wipke was announced as the next superintendent of the Fox C-6 School District at last night's board of education meeting. Dr. Wipke will officially start on July 1, 2015. Dr. Wipke is currently working in the Rockwood School District.

I have received emails and messages from friends and family that are either friends with Dr. Wipke or have had children in school where he was principal. They all spoke very highly of him.

The committee members and Fox C-6 board of education made an excellent choice in choosing Dr. James Wipke.

I introduced myself to Dr. Wipke after the meeting and told him that I had received an email from a mutual friend that spoke very highly of him and that I look forward to working with him. I mentioned that I had been working for many years to improve the transparency in our district and that things had improved.

Dr. Wipke spoke about fear in his presentation. I told him that some of the fear in our district was due to the lack of transparency and not knowing what was going on in the district.

Dr. Wipke also stated during his presentation that he wants the community to hold him accountable.

Everyone in the Fox C-6 community should listen to his presentation that I have posted below:





Below is a copy of the email that was sent to all of the parents and staff in the Fox C-6 School District announcing Dr. Wipke's selection.

Dear Parents and Families:

The Fox C-6 School District Board of Education is pleased to announce that Dr. James Wipke has been hired as Superintendent for the 2015-2016 school year.  Dr. Wipke currently serves as Executive Director of Secondary Education for Rockwood School District, a position he has held since 2011.

“We are excited to fill the superintendent’s post with a person of Dr. Wipke’s caliber,” stated Board President John Laughlin.  “Our board was favorably impressed with all the candidates we considered, and highly impressed with the candidates we interviewed.  Dr. Wipke’s accomplishments and educational achievements make him the perfect candidate for the job.”

Dr. Wipke received his BS degree from Harris-Stowe State College.  He has a MA degree in Education, and a MA degree in Administration.  His doctorate degree from Maryville University is in Educational Leadership.

During his 22 years in education, Dr. Wipke has served as an elementary and middle school teacher in the Rockwood School District, a middle school assistant principal in the Parkway School District, a middle and high school principal and Executive Director of Secondary Education in the Rockwood School District.

“Dr. Wipke has the education, experience, strength of character, and vision to lead the Fox School District into the future,” said John Laughlin.  “We look forward to a smooth transition and are anxious for Dr. Wipke to meet the students, teachers, parents, staff and the entire Fox Schools community.”

Dr. Wipke will be introduced at the Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, November 18, 2014.  Please join in welcoming Dr. Wipke to Fox C-6 School District.

John Laughlin,
President, Fox School District Board of Education
 

Costly Lessons Learned on Voluntary Early Retirement Incentive Program

Last night's Fox C-6 school board agenda was changed after the board learned that they did not have to vote on approving Early Retirement or Early Separation agreements with employees. Per the district attorney, once the offer is made to an employee and the offer is accepted the district has a contract with the employee. This was explained in CFO John Brazeal's Voluntary Separation Incentive Program response that he sent me on Monday November 17, 2014 which I posted in yesterday's article.

It wasn't until after I had written about the changes made at the November 3, 2014 workshop to the VSIP program that Mr. Brazeal began looking into how the changes came about to the policy since my information appeared inaccurate. That's because Mr. Brazeal had been provided with the most recent version of the plan which hadn't been updated on the website. My research into the issue was based on what was currently known to the public. That's how the VSIP response came about that I wrote about yesterday and linked to below.

That being said, the changes to remove the 10 Years of Service requirement to the Voluntary Early Retirement Incentive Program were made in February 2014. The 10 Years of Service requirement language had been removed at the same time that the upper limit was removed when former superintendent Dianne Critchlow presented the changes to the board. Fox's former legal counsel had informed the board that the upper limit was discriminatory and that it needed to be removed.

This is another example of how lack of transparency makes it very easy for the administration to manipulate the board and the public. The board nor the public were provided proper time to review the changes made to policies prior to the board meeting or workshop.

By not providing documents to board members days in advance for review made it very easy for former Fox C-6 superintendent Dianne Critchlow to get changes approved with little to no review.

That's why the board is "taking a serious look" at it's options as quoted in today's Post Dispatch article posted below. This should not have taken place but it did. It occurred on numerous occasions over the years and that's why I was continually pressing to make the board packets available to the public prior to the board meetings. It should have been much easier to hold the district accountable. But, as everyone has learned, hiding things from the public makes it easy to get away with a lot of things before people begin catching on to what's been going on.

As far as transparency goes, you know you've made a little progress when you see people at Fox C-6 school board meetings now following along on their tablet computer or phone reading the board meeting packet!

Hopefully the Fox school board will be able to correct the changes that were made to the Voluntary Early Retirement Program and restore the 10 Years of Service requirement prior to paying out taxpayer money to those that would not have been eligible prior to February 2014.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Say NO to the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program Payout!

Monday morning November 17, 2014, I sent an email to the Fox C-6 School Board, CFO John Brazeal and board secretary Debby Davis regarding the proposed Voluntary Separation Incentive Program (VSIP) payment to Assistant Superintendent Andy Arbeitman. I stated my concerns regarding the removal of the 10 Years of Service with the Fox C-6 School District that just somehow happened to no longer apply even though it's in our current school district policies, including the most recent version that was posted for review on the district in March 2014.

Later that morning I received an email from Fox's CFO John Brazeal with a PDF attachment explaining the history of the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program explaining what changes were made and when over the past 9 years. I have included the district's response below. Much of the language in the response appears to be responding to my concerns in recent articles regarding the issue.

On Tuesday November 11, 2014 I wrote an article about this issue after reviewing the Tuesday November 18, 2014 Fox C-6 board meeting packet. In that board packet, there was a request to approve paying Andy Arbeitman a $67,747.50 for voluntarily departing from the district early.

My article spurred a news story on KMOV Channel 4 by Russell Kinsaul due to the fact that after only 2 years of service at Fox C-6, the taxpayers are being asked to approve paying $66,747.50 for Mr. Arbeitman for leaving early. Not so fast!

For years, Fox C-6's policies/regulations have required a minimum of 10 Years of Service in the Fox C-6 School District as explained in the district's response.

It's pretty apparent that many taxpayers and school employees are not happy about the decision to offer this early payout after only two years of service. Fox's board approved new changes to the VSIP at the November 3, 2014 school board meeting that required employees to sign an agreement stating that they would not sue the school district if they took the Early Incentive Pay.

Vested in the Public School Retirement System
It's Fox C-6 taxpayer dollars that are being used to buy out anyone that wants to take the early out. It's not Public School Retirement System (PSRS) money. The rules requirements have been changed so that an employee simply had to be vested in the PSRS in order to receive the Early Incentive Pay. You must read the response from Fox to see how this has all come about.

Board Minutes and Packets Void of Changes
Over the weekend I reviewed board meeting minutes and school board meeting packets looking for the changes that had been made over the years in regards to the Voluntary Early Retirement Incentive Program. Neither the board meeting minutes nor the board packets had any documentation pertaining to the removal of the 10 Years of Service requirement.

The response from the district states that "a vote that should have been taken in open session was taken in closed session" with regards to the changes that were made.

Not voting or discussing this issue during the Public Session or even providing documentation to the board in their board packets is a serious problem. It warrants being reviewed by the State Auditor as well as the Attorney General.

You must question why these changes weren't discussed during Public Session. The public should have been made aware of the changes. It's somewhat explained in the district's response below.

There is a Fox C-6 school board meeting this evening Tuesday November 18, 2014 at 7PM at the Fox C-6 Service Center. I encourage everyone to attend and voice your concerns to the Fox C-6 school board regarding this issue prior to them giving another hand out of cash.

According to both the current school district policy and the newly revised version posted March 2014 version "For Review", Mr. Arbeitman is not eligible for the incentive which requires 10 years of service with the Fox C-6 School District. Mr. Arbeitman began working for the district on July 1, 2013.

Below is a copy of the response I received from Fox's Chief Financial Officer (CFO) John Brazeal on this issue. It's imperative that you share this explanation with your friends and neighbors in the Fox C-6 School District. After all, it's your money that the district keeps handing out!

You can also download a copy of the original PDF version of the document I received from here:


DATE: November 17, 2014
TO: To Whom It May Concern
FROM: John Brazeal, CFO
RE: Recent history of Voluntary Separation Incentive Program
 
This is a review of the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program, also known as the Voluntary Early Retirement Incentive Program, or the Voluntary Leave Program, or the Voluntary Incentive Program. 
Policy vs. Regulation/Procedure
Generally, policy setting is the purview of the board. Policies must conform to law. Generally, establishing regulations/procedures is the responsibility of administration. Regulation/procedure must conform to policy, and therefore also to law. Anytime a regulation/procedure spends money, that regulation/procedure should be board approved rather than approved administratively. 
History
Regulation 4740.1 titled Voluntary Early Retirement Incentive Program was initially adopted in November 1998, with subsequent re-adoptions in April 2000, July 2000, July 2003, September 2004 and July 2005. As of the date of this report, this Regulation was still posted on the District website. 
The last re-adoption of Regulation 4740.1 in July 2005 coincides with the start of Dianne Brown/Critchlow’s tenure as District superintendent. Since that time, the incentive program has operated with a variety of modifications as described herein. Also since that time, policy and regulations/procedures generally have not been kept current.
Program Eligibility
The incentive program set forth in Regulation 4740.1 defines program eligibility to include: 
     1. Minimum of 10 years full-time service as a District employee; and
     2. Minimum of 20 years of service credit in the pension system (PSRS or PEERS), but not more than 31 years of service credit. 
For many years, courts have held that the upper eligibility limit of “not more than 31 years of service credit” to be discriminatory. 
In an email dated February 17, 2009, Dianne Brown announced changes to program eligibility for the 2008-2009 year to be as follows: 
     1. Qualify under current policy/regulation 4740.1; or
     2. Have more than 31 years of service credit in the pension system; or
     3. Have 20 years service credit in the pension system and minimum of 6 years employment with the district; or 
     4. Have meet Rule of 80 provisions with the pension system; or
     5. Be age 60 or greater with a minimum of 6 years employment with the district. 
If these changes were board approved, that fact has not been confirmed. 
In an email dated January 13, 2010, Todd Scott announced that for the 2009-2010 year, program eligibility would be as stated in Regulation 4740.1. 
In email dated February 15, 2011, Todd Scott announced program eligibility for the 2010-2011 year as: 
     1. Minimum of 10 years of full-time employment with the district; and
     2. Minimum of 15 years service credit with the pension system. 
The discriminatory upper limit was removed. If these changes were board approved, that fact has not been confirmed. 
In an email dated February 14, 2012, Todd Scott announced program eligibility would remain the same for 2011-2012 as the prior year of 2010-2011. Again, if this variance from the regulation was board approved, that fact has not been confirmed. 
In an email dated January 7, 2013, Todd Scott announced program eligibility would remain the same for 2012-2013 as the two previous years. Again, if this variance from the regulation was board approved, that fact has not been confirmed. 
In an email dated January 23, 2014, Todd Scott announced program eligibility for the 2013-2014 would match the eligibility requirements of the regulation as: 
     1. Minimum of 10 years full-time service as a District employee; and
     2. Minimum of 20 years of service credit in the pension system (PSRS or PEERS), but not more than 31 years of service credit. 
That action did not stand long. On February 19, 2014, an email was distributed announcing program eligibility for both the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 years to be: 
1. Employee must be vested (5 years service credit) in the pension system.
The announcement of this change indicated “at the February 18th Board of Education meeting the BOE made changes to the Voluntary Early Retirement Program.” 
Program Benefits
Regulation 4740.1 indicates that eligible program participants will: 
     1. Receive a payment equal to 50% of the applicant’s final year’s salary; and
     2. Be required to provide 35 hours of service to the District during the year following the end of District employment. 
Fewer changes were applied to these provisions, however, there were a couple changes through time. 
In an email dated November 30, 2012, Dianne Critchlow wrote: “I am excited to announce that the district is offering, A ONE TIME ONLY, addition to our early retirement incentive. For the first time in Fox C-6 history, we are not only offering to pay half of you highest year’s salary, we are offering 2 years of Board paid health insurance.” 
In an email dated January 7, 2013, Todd Scott announced “employees will no longer have to put in time of service after they retire.” 
February 2014 Events
On February 3, 2014, the Board met to discuss budgetary issues and also entered closed session to discuss “negotiations.” 
In closed session, the presentation to the board showed a history of the declining fund balances, and an action plan that stated: 
     1. Limit or greatly reduce spending
     2. Offer Voluntary Incentive Program
     3. Limit/freeze hiring
     4. Freeze salary schedules 
In regards to the voluntary separation incentive program, and under the heading “Things We Have Discovered,” the following statements were displayed: 
     1. We can no longer use the term “Early Retirement Incentive”
     2. The VIP (Voluntary Incentive Program) is due to PSRS by April 1
     3. Can no longer put a cap on number of years – discriminatory 
Two options were suggested by the superintendent to the board: 
Option A: Increase the incentive to 65% of final salary to employees separating in 2013-2014; 60% of final salary to employees separating in 2014-2015; and 55% of salary to employees separating in 2015-2016. 
Option B: Keep the incentive at 50% of final salary, but add 2 years of district paid health insurance to employees separating in 2013-2014; add 1 year of district paid health insurance to employees separating in 2014-2015; and no health insurance to employees separating in 2015-2016. 
The proposal stated “employees must be vested in the retirement system to be eligible,” but made no mention of minimum employment with the district or any other minimum amounts of service credit with the pension system. 
On February 18, 2014, the Board held its regular meeting and also entered closed session to discuss “negotiations.” 
The minutes of the close session state: “After discussion Mrs. Hermann made a motion and was seconded to approve the recommendation from the committee to continue the Voluntary Leave Program for the 2013-2014 and the 2014-2015 school year as presented. After the 2014-2015 school year the District will no longer offer the Voluntary Leave Program.” The motion was approved 6-1. 
Directors voting in favor of the motion: Palmer, Hermann, Laughlin, Nash, Holloway and Smith. Directors voting against the motion: Kroupa. 
Motive And Intent
It is impossible to fully assess motives and intentions, but here are a few observations. 
The concept of incentivizing higher cost staff to separate employment as a method for lowering payroll costs can have merit. However, by offering an incentive every year, the program had become more of a retirement bonus with major cost to the District rather than an incentive with cost savings to the District. 
As the District’s financial condition deteriorated, Dianne Critchlow sought to boost the incentive, while members of the Board sought to end the costly program. Some back and forth pushing on the issue exposed some motives. 
When Board members attempted to end the program sooner than later, Dianne Critchlow vehemently objected, potentially due to her own pending retirement date. With her retirement date already announced, she pushed for boosting the program benefits and pushed for expanded eligibility. 
The push for expanded eligibility coincides with the planned separation for Jamie Critchlow. The push for increased benefits coincides with the planned separations for both Jamie and Dianne Critchlow. 
November 2014 Events
I joined the Fox District in July 2014. As the program parameters had been set in February 2014 and announced to staff, I did not attempt to modify the either the eligibility criteria or the program benefits. However, upon noticing that the district was not receiving any benefit from the employee in return for the incentive payment, I did propose there be a separation agreement wherein the separating employee would waive any and all claims that person might have against the District. In this way, the District gains protection from potential employment related liabilities. 
Due to the fact the plan would be ending after the 2014-2015 school year, the program was finally an incentive. In an effort to boost participation and enable employees to leave before they otherwise might, I did propose paying the incentive payment before employment ended so that this payment could be used to purchase service credit in the pension system. 
At the November 3, 2014 board meeting, the program was modified to include payment of the incentive at an earlier date and require a waiver of claims in exchange for the incentive payment. No proposal was made regarding eligibility since that had already been announced to staff as being applicable for the current school year. 
Open Session vs. Closed Session
The discussion and action related to the incentive program took place in closed session during February 2014. The closed session topic was listed as “negotiations.” It is acceptable for the Board to enter into closed session to discuss negotiations in relation to negotiating with employee groups. Normally, the negotiation matters discussed by the Board in closed session proceed to the negotiating table with employee representatives. Later when agreement has been reached between the parties, the resulting agreement is presented to the Board in open session for approval. 
During February 2014, the Board was within its rights to take up the topic for discussion in closed session. Dianne Critchlow contended that a decision was required prior to April 1, 2014. Thus, a vote that should have been taken in open session was taken in closed session. Additionally, the topic was never taken to the negotiating table, which eventually convened in May 2014. 
Policy/Regulations/Procedures on Website
Obviously the objective of posting policy/regulations/procedures on the website is to provide a public resource and public notice of District policies and procedures. Naturally, when a policy is revised, there can be a delay between Board adoption of new policy and posting of the revised policy on the website. This delay should be minimized. 
According to Debby Davis, Custodian of Records for the District, she was instructed to leave the unrevised version of Regulation 4740.1 on the website, despite its revision in February 2014. Please note, the incentive program had been revised almost annually, without revised posting to the website. That should not have been the case. If things have been handled correctly, the revised program would have been posted promptly after each revision. 
As pointed out early in this memo, this matter and many other policy matters appear to be out of date. Policy requires almost constant attention and revision in order to avoid obsolesce. Dianne Critchlow allowed many policy matters to go stale. 
Status
The incentive program exists in its current form until it is changed or ended. The incentive program is an offer from the District to employees. Eligible employees are entitled to accept the offer as it exists or is modified from time to time. The Board should be the only entity with authority to authorize the incentive program and/or modification to an existing incentive program.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

When Was Fox C-6's Early Retirement Incentive Program Officially Changed?

Comments have been made that Fox C-6's Voluntary Early Retirement Incentive Program was changed and sent out to all of the teachers in February 2013 . They may have removed the requirement that an employee must work for the district for 10 years prior to being eligible for the Early Retirement Incentive Program in February 2013, but those changes WERE NOT reflected in the March 2014 updated version of the Fox C-6 Board Policies and Regulations nor were the changes posted in the current version of the Fox C-6 Board Polices and Regulations. Therefore my analysis of the current board policies were correct.

If changes had been made to the Voluntary Early Retirement Incentive Program, then they should have been posted in the Draft version of the March 2014 Board Policies and Regulations posted on the district's website by the school board and school district for public review earlier this year. The Voluntary Early Retirement Incentive Program Regulation number was changed in the March 2014 version of the regulation and the reference to NTRS was changed to PEERS. However, nothing was changed regarding the requirement that an employee was only eligible if they had served 10 years of service in the Fox C-6 School District.

There was nothing recorded in the December 2012 through March 2013 Fox C-6 school board meeting minutes regarding changes made to the Voluntary Early Retirement Incentive Program policy or regulation. There was a mention in the board reports that Rusty Wallace had been inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in the February 2013 board meeting minutes.

UPDATED 11/16/2014:
Someone commented that the changes were made to the Voluntary Early Retirement Incentive Program and sent out to teachers in February 2014 instead of February 2013. However, there is NOT a single reference to any changes made to the Voluntary Early Retirement Incentive Program when searching the entire 2013-2014 school year's Fox C-6 School Board Meeting minutes. There weren't any copies provided to the school board members in their monthly board meeting packets as well.

It's very difficult to approve changes to a school board policy or regulation if the changes weren't provided to our school board members in their board packets. It would also be impossible to make changes to the board policy unless the changes were voted on during the Public Session of a Fox C-6 school board meeting. If the changes were voted on during closed session, then our school board would have violated Missouri Sunshine Law.

According to the district's school board meeting minutes, there weren't any votes pertaining to changes of the Voluntary Early Retirement Incentive Program during the 2013-2014 school year.

The word "retire" cannot be found in the 2013-2014 school year Fox C-6 board meeting minutes. The only references to the word "incentive" found in the minutes for the year are related to the Employee Attendance Incentive and the Ameren Incentive for the solar panels. You can check for yourself by downloading the 2013-2014 Fox C-6 School Board Meeting Minutes compiled into a single PDF document using the link below.


This is simply another example of either backpedaling or simply not doing their job in properly updating the district Policies and Regulations. The updates to the Board Policies and Regulations have been in work since 2009 and still haven't been completed and approved by the board. They were originally posted in March 2012 for review and nothing happened for 2 years. Then they were posted again in March 2014. The Policies and Regulations still haven't been reviewed and approved by the board.

I'm glad that I didn't have to wait for the school board to approve the changes before I could review them as Dianne Critchlow informed me I would have to do in an email in March 2012. Critchlow ended up posting the draft copy of the board policies on the district website in March 2012 as she said she would do at the board meeting once I emailed her a transcript of what she told the public at the board meeting. I've written about this incident before as well.


It makes you wonder why we have been paying some of our top administrators such a high salary for so many years doesn't it?

Please read my previous article using the link below for more information about acting superintendent Tim Crutchley and assistant superintendent Todd Scott asking the board to approve paying Andy Arbeitman $66,647.50 to depart the district early at next Tuesday's Fox C-6 School Board Meeting!

Please contact your Fox C-6 School Board members and voice your concerns about paying out an Incentive Payment of $66,647 to an administrator who has been working for the district for a little over a year before the board approves it at the Tuesday November 18, 2014 Fox C-6 School Board meeting.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Arbeitman Departing Fox on June 30, 2015 - He'll Get $66,647 Voluntary Incentive Separation Program Payout

The November 18, 2014 Fox C-6 board meeting packet was posted today. Below are a few key points from the board packet.

This article was updated at 7:45PM on Wednesday November 12, 2014 to include the KMOV News Channel 4 story from Russell Kinsaul at the bottom of the article. I also corrected the article to state that it is Dan Kroupa's sister-in-law that owns the Jewel Box Florist. It is NOT his sister. My apologies for the mistake.


Changes Made To VSIP at 11/03/2014 Board Meeting
Second Update at 11:30PM on Wednesday November 12, 2014. After watching the video from KMOV Channel 4 News, Mr. Brazeal stated that this program was for employees vested into the Public School Retirement System. However, that WAS NOT true prior to the November 3, 2014 Fox C-6 board workshop.

Fox's CURRENT board policies that are posted on the district website HAVE NOT BEEN UPDATED to reflect the changes made to the Voluntary Early Retirement Incentive Program which became the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program.

What's Been Removed
In reviewing the changes made to the Voluntary Incentive Separation Program (VSIP) and just published for the first time yesterday in the November 18, 2014 Board Packet, the Requirement that a an employee must have completed a minimum of ten years of full-time service in the Fox C-6 School District in order to be eligible for the VSIP program HAS BEEN REMOVED!

Prior to November 3, 2014, Andy Arbeitman WOULD NOT have been eligible for the VSIP program.

I have assembled the November 3, 2014 Fox C-6 board meeting minutes from the November 18, 2014 board meeting packet as well as the new VSIP agreement and current board Policy 4740.1 to compare the old language to the new language for the Incentive Program.

If you read the board meeting minutes about the VSIP program, you'll notice that there was NO MENTION about the removal of the requirement to complete a minimum of ten years of full-time service in the Fox C-6 School District. It also wasn't mentioned during the board workshop that the 10 year requirement was being removed when the changes were presented to the board.

The new VSIP agreement refers to board policy GBN which DOES NOT EXIST. Board policy GBN is a Missouri School Board Association policy designation which Fox does not use. Fox uses school board policies created by our former law firm.

The new VSIP agreement also contains language that states that any employee accepting the new VSIP agreement "agrees to release any and all claims that the employee may have against the district, including the District's affiliates and subsidiaries, together with their respective members, directors, officers, agents and employees, and their attorneys, including but not limited to, claims for compensatory damages, emotional distress, loss of reputation, humiliation, embarrassment, costs, expenses and attorney's fees."

It goes on to state that, "Employee hereby waives, releases, remises, and forever discharges the School District, Board of Education, and their affiliates and subsidiaries, together with their respective members, directors, officers, agents, and employees, including their attorneys, whether in their respective individual of (typo) or official capacities, from any and all claims or other causes of action he or she may have against them, including, but not limited to, any alleged rights or claims arising under the Americans with Disabilities Act..."

There is a lot more release language contained in the new VSIP agreement. Basically, the updated VSIP has been written as a way for the district to do some CYA for any and all wrong doing of current and former employees and board members. It is a MUST READ document!

The new VSIP gives the appearance that the Incentive Program is now being used as "hush money". It's also giving away taxpayer money to those who would not have qualified before. The board needs to be questioned about this change. It is unacceptable!

Click on the link below to read the new VSIP agreement, the current Early Retirement Incentive policy and the November 3, 2014 board workshop minutes.



Below is what the current Fox C-6 Board Polices and Regulations state as requirements for the Voluntary Early Retirement Incentive Program:

Regulation 4740.1 (Current Version)  /  4750 (2014 Draft Version)
Full-time staff members who meet all of the following conditions are eligible for early retirement pay upon leaving the employ of the Fox C-6 School District: 
1. Have completed a minimum of ten years of full-time service as an employee in the Fox C-6 School District 
2. Will have obtained a minimum of twenty years and no more than 31 years of credit in the Missouri Teacher Retirement System (as verified by the PSRS) or the Non-Teacher Retirement System (as verified by the NTRS (PEERS)) in the employee’s final contract year. The 20- 31 years of retirement system credit would include all out-of-state, in-state, or military credit purchased by the individual. This program will not be extended to individuals with more than 31 years of credit in the PSRS or NTRS (PEERS) or to those individuals with fewer than 20 years of credit in the PSRS or NTRS (PEERS).


The newer DRAFT version of the above Regulation is 4750. The newer DRAFT version of Fox's policies posted earlier this year have not yet been approved by the school board. It has the same language as Regulation 4740.1 with the exception that NTRS has been changed to PEERS.


Some Highlights from the November 18, 2014 Fox C-6 School Board Meeting Packet

  • Assistant Superintendent Andy Arbeitman will be leaving the district June 30, 2015.
  • Mr. Arbeitman will be paid $66,647.50 taking the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program.
    (See more below)
  • Two IT 3 employees are receiving $10,000+ raises according to the Contract Modifications section of the board packet. The salary raises are as follows:
  • Board being asked to approve the updated Code of Ethics / Nepotism Policy as presented in the board packet.
    View the changes!
  • Fox changed their Professional Development Plan to a Professional Learning Plan. The changes include updated amounts and approvals for travel and hotel stays as well as reimbursement requirements.
    View Professional Learning Plan Update
  • Checks for Seckman Athletic Director Brad Duncan were printed as a separate report for easy abstention when approving checks. Brad Duncan is Fox C-6 board member Vern Sullivan's son.
  • View Checks to Brad Duncan
  • Checks for the Jewel Box Florist were printed on a separate report for easy abstention. The Jewel Box Florist is owned by the sister in-law of Fox C-6 board member Dan Kroupa.
    (NOTE: This post was corrected to properly reflect "sister in-law". My original post stated "sister" instead of "sister in-law". My apologies for the mistake.)
    View Checks to Jewel Box Florist
  • Payment of Bills report as posted in the November 18, 2014 board packet.
    View Bill Payments Report
  • A bridges teacher separated from the district on November 7, 2014. (NOTE: This information was in the Late Materials at the October 2014 board meeting but was never updated in the Public October 2014 board meeting packet.)

Mr. Arbeitman Departing from Fox
Mr. Arbeitman has only been working for the Fox C-6 district for a little over a year. He officially started working for the district on July 1, 2013. However, he was invited to and attended the MarzanoGate Conference in June 2013 by former superintendent Dianne Critchlow prior to officially worked for the district.

Mr. Arbeitman will be getting a very sweet deal from the Fox C-6 taxpayers if the school board approves the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program list on page 329 of the board meeting packet. Acting superintendent Tim Crutchley is asking the school board to "Approve, as presented, participants in the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program." at the November 18, 2014 Fox C-6 school board meeting.

If the board approves the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program list, Mr. Arbeitman will receive a payment of $66,647.50 for leaving the district at the end of the 2014-2015 school year.


Would you approve this payment of $66,647.50 if you were on the Fox C-6 school board?

What are the requirements for being able to receive the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program?

UPDATED @ 7:45PM on 11/12/2014!

Russell Kinsaul of KMOV News Channel 4 sent me a text earlier today after reading this article. He wanted to do a news story about the large payout to Assistant Superintendent Andy Arbeitman after working for Fox C-6 for only two years by the time he leaves in June 2015. Russell's news story is already online at KMOV.COM. It was explained to Mr. Kinsaul by Fox CFO John Brazeal that the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program was for anyone vested in the Public School Retirement System.

You can watch the KMOV News story using the link below:



Arbeitman's Desoto School District Settlement
Mr. Arbeitman received a $208,000 settlement from the Desoto School District in 2012 after being put on paid leave in May 2012 and eventually resigning from the district.

You can read more about Mr. Arbeitman's departure from the Desoto School District and his subsequent hire at Fox in the following March 2013 news story:



Education Is Key To Keep From Repeating the Past!

Fox C-6 made it onto the front page of the St. Louis Post Dispatch again yesterday. It is impressive as to the number of times that Fox has been front page news.

The Monday November 10, 2014 issue of the St. Louis Post Dispatch had an article stating that Fox would most likely be announcing a new superintendent for the district at the November 18, 2014 Fox C-6 school board meeting.

The article also covered the invoices that have been sent to Dianne Critchlow for repayment to the district over the last couple of months. Dianne Critchlow has NOT paid any of the invoices because her attorney says that she's done nothing wrong. 

It seems hard to believe that it's OK to use a school district credit card to pay for a traffic ticket. It's also hard to believe that it's OK to entertain administrators after a high school football game and charge it to Professional Development funds. How are doing those types of things not wrong? 

There was a quote in the article from Jamie Critchlow that was sent to John Brazeal in an email that said that Brazeal had "gone way past the point of harassment" in regards to sending invoices to the Critchlows and that Mr. Brazeal should contact their attorney rather than them for any future inquiries. That's certainly an interesting response considering the fact that the majority of defamatory comments posted online were directed at myself and others for voicing our concerns to our school board about what was going on in the district over the last several years.

You can read the Post Dispatch Article on STLTODAY.COM using the following link:


So, if you or your neighbors or friends aren't familiar with what's been finally uncovered and exposed to the public as to what's been happening in the Fox C-6 School District for nearly a decade, it's important that you start educating yourself, friends and neighbors in our community so the community doesn't have to go through this again in the future.

The embarrassment brought to our community by some of our Fox C-6 administrators will linger for decades to come.

So, if you haven't been in the loop, now is a good time to start reading, watching or listening to some of the nearly 100 news stories that have been written or broadcast over the last couple of years about the fraud, theft, nepotism, cyber bullying and more that's occurred in the district. You can read and watch these news stories by clicking on the link below to my Fox C-6 School District is In The News article.


You can also read the more than 150 articles that I have published over the last several years on this blog about what's been occurring in the district for more than 6+ years. Most of what I've written has been first hand experience in dealing with Dianne Brown-Critchlow, Dan Baker, Gee Palmer and many former and current Fox C-6 school board members. The experience has been like researching for writing a thesis. It will certainly make for a very intriguing documentary some day.

It's also good to know that sharing this information has been helpful to many people in our district as well as others across the state and the country. Hopefully, the information will help deter others from doing the same thing that several of our administrators and board members did or failed to do in fulfilling their duties to both the students of our district and our community.


Waiting for Documents from Sunshine Requests
In the meantime, I'm still waiting for most of the documents from my September 12, 2014 Sunshine Requests to get fulfilled. I have received and posted the 2012-2013 DISCOVER CARD statements. I am still waiting for the DISCOVER card and AMERICAN EXPRESS card statements. I am also waiting on purchase receipts and invoices from the law firm.

Below is a copy of my September 12, 2014 Sunshine Request to the district:

Mrs. Davis, 
The following email is a Sunshine Request to the Fox C-6 School District for documents for the Public's interest. Therefore, I ask that you waive any fees associated with the production of the documents requested per Missouri Sunshine Law. 
I am making the following request for documents related to purchases and expenses incurred by taxpayers of the Fox C-6 School District since 2005 when Dianne Brown-Critchlow was promoted to the position of the Superintendent of the Fox C-6 School District. 
It has become public knowledge that former Superintendent Dianne Brown-Critchlow exercised very poor judgement during her tenure in the use of credit cards and the use of legal counsel to hide or deter exposure of her actions during that time. Cease and desist letters were sent by the school district's former law firm to individuals such as myself related to exposing issues within the Fox C-6 School District. 
It has also become public knowledge that former Superintendent Dianne Brown-Critchlow used school district credit cards and possibly petty cash to purchase items for personal use rather than school district use. It has also become public knowledge that Dianne Brown-Critchlow borrowed credit cards from others in the district to make some of those purchases as well. 
Documents Requested:
  • Electronic copies of all Fox C-6 DISCOVER credit card statements for the 2005-2006 to 2012-2013 school years to present.
  • Electronic copies of all Fox C-6 AMERICAN EXPRESS credit card statements for the 2005-2006 to 2012-2013 school years.
  • Electronic copies of all Fox C-6 VISA credit card statements for the 2005-2006 to 2008-2009 school years to present.
  • Electronic copies of all receipts that were purchased using Petty Cash since the 2005-2006 school year to present for personal related items for Dianne Brown-Critchlow.
  • Electronic copies of all invoices from the Mickes Goldman O'Toole law firm for the 2007-2008 school years to present. When redacting the invoices from the law firm please ensure that only names are redacted and that the descriptions or purpose of the legal fees incurred remain on the invoices. I previously made a similar request years ago and was informed that the district did not receive detailed billing.
  • Electronic copies of any and all receipts associated with purchases made by former Superintendent Dianne Brown-Critchlow using ANY district credit card since it has been determined that she borrowed or used credit cards assigned to other people within the district.
  • Electronic list of all items recovered to date from former Superintendent Dianne Brown-Critchlow.

I realize that the production of the above documents may take some time. Please forward any documents related to the above request as they become available. If any of the documents from my Sunshine Requests have already been made by other patrons or media outlets and fulfilled, please make them available as soon as possible if the entire request cannot be fulfilled at once.

Thank You, 
Rich Simpson

Thursday, November 6, 2014

State Auditor Tom Schweich's Victory Speech Talks About School District Corruption!

State Auditor Tom Schweich was just re-elected on Tuesday November 4, 2014 to serve the state of Missouri for another 4 years as state auditor.

Mr. Schweich gave an excellent victory speech. I found his speech on his Twitter account @AuditorSchweich. He is the taxpayer watchdog for the state of Missouri.

Mr. Schweich's office is currently auditing the Fox C-6 School District. His staff has their work cut out for them. You can read articles on this blog documenting some of what's been exposed and uncovered in the Fox C-6 School District so far in just the last several months.

Mr. Schweich's commitment towards uncovering and reporting on fraud, waste, abuse and corruption should be very encouraging to the taxpayers of the Fox C-6 School District.

Hopefully Mr. Schweich will be able to build an airtight case that documents all of the problems that have been occurring in the Fox C-6 School District during former superintendent Dianne Critchlow's tenure.

The Fox C-6 taxpayers deserve to recover every penny that was improperly spent on personal items and food by school district officials over the last 9+ years rather that should have been spent on educating our students and our teachers.

Mr. Schweich talks about his office being sued by special interest groups who don't want him to accurately report what's been going on in the state. This tactic sounds very similar to the Cease and Desist letters that were sent to myself and others in our district who were trying to expose the problems in our district for years.


Quotes from Tom Schweich's Victory Speech
"Let's remember we live in the greatest state in the union, the state of Missouri, and I'm so proud to represent the people of this state. But, even in that context of greatness there are challenges and I wanted to talk a little bit about that and what I plan to do about it going forward. 
I recently saw a survey that had us 45th in education across the state, Elementary and Secondary Education. We need some work there. I've audited a lot of schools. I've audited the 4 largest school districts in Missouri and many of the rural ones as well and there are significant challenges... I audited Rockwood School District, not too far from here and found conflicts of interest and double dealing. We've got problems with our education system and we need to work on it... 
First, I think there's a lack of leadership at the top. Second, I think there's political corruption plane and simple. Remember my job is to root out fraud, waste and abuse and corruption in state and local government..."

"This is what I see everyday because of the nature of my job. Because I see corruption at all levels state, county, local. People who are serving themselves at the expense of the people...
I've audited School Officials and exposed massive conflicts of interest in Rockwood here and Hickman Mills School District near Kansas City, the Grandview School District. People getting free tickets. People getting paid off. I mean it does happen. These people are then serving themselves and not serving you."

"I want you to know that as I take over in my second term as your state auditor, I am committed more than ever before to fighting all aspects of corruption in all aspects of state, local government in Jefferson City, in the counties, in the cities and in the school districts. I will continue to be your taxpayer Watchdog and I will never be bought by anyone. You have my word!"