Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I went to the Audit Committee for two reasons.

I wanted to see what they were wanting to do in secret, and
because I wanted to hear the report on SilentWhistle.

I understand, and agree, that there are some things that should
not be made public. These "things" show up in an inclusive list
that is part of the Open Meetings Act. The list does not include
"things" that make the District look bad.

There is a huge difference between what the law requires to
remain secret, and what the APS keeps secret. The leadership
of the APS routinely redacts the truth far in excess of the
requirements of the law; for no reason except to deliberately
mislead stakeholders.

On the subject of APS SilentWhistle, APS Director of
Audit, Margret Koshmider reported that the
number of complaints filed with APS whistleblower protection
program now total more than 150.

According to APS School Board Policy, link, the final step in
the due process that is afforded to complaints, is an individual
review and approval of the handling of each complaint. Board
Policy reads, in significant part, The Audit Committee is
charged with;

review and recommend approval or action(s) associated
with ... any whistleblower complaints.

Audit Committee Chair, David Robbins
steadfastly refuses to place the review
and approval of whistleblower complaints
on the committee's agenda.

There are now more than 150 complaints
that are being denied due process.


The short answer is that; David Robbins does not want to allow any public discussion of two complaints in particular; one alleging ethical misconduct by Winston Brooks related to his ongoing refusal to step up as a role model of the Pillars of Character Counts!. The other is a complaint against Margret Koshmider, alleging that she closed the complaint against Winston Brooks without giving the complaint its due process.

Neither complaint will be heard in public, because the district wants to avoid the public embarrassment of admitting that they have no real intention of being held accountable as role models of the APS Student Standards of Conduct.

The effort to deny these two complaints, their due process, is the real reason that more than 150 other complaints will not see due process either.

I have emailed David Robbins three times to ask him to tell the truth about his intentions regarding the review and approval of whistleblower complaints. The review and approval is specifically and expressly required by board policy.

The nearest thing that I have gotten to an answer is
"There are Federal regulations and laws which supersede
all Board Policies.

So in not having a public hearing, APS complies with
the law, but maybe not policy.

Given Federal law and regulations trump Board policy,
I believe APS has acted correctly."
If the law read that there will be no review and approval,
then there would be a conflict between board policy and the
law, and the law would trump board policy.

The truth is that there is no conflict. The law does not
mention review and approval at all.

At best, the law "allows" the board to ignore its own policy,
for even the most indefensible reasons.

Robbins' effort to take advantage of the circumstances is
in diametric opposition to APS Student Standards of Conduct,
under which students are taught that;
"Being a person of character, often requires doing
more than the law requires, and
less than the law allows."
David Robbins, on the other hand, seeks to do all that the law
allows, including denying due process to legitimate complaints,
simply to avoid telling the truth to stakeholders.

David Robbins cannot summon the character and the courage
to do the right thing, even as one of the seven most senior
role models of the Student Standards of Conduct; the
Pillars of Character Counts!

The example that he is setting for students and staff is
dishonest, it is unethical, and it is disgraceful.

cc David Robbins upon posting.

photo Mark Bralley

No comments: