Tuesday, August 19, 2014


“SCOTT COUNTY SCHOOLS NEEDS SCHOOL BUS DRIVERS” screams the giant sign plastered to the side of a school bus parked roadside at the district’s Central Offices.  Think you couldn’t be hired as a school bus driver at Scott County?  Think again!

The criminal indictment reads:


COUNT 1:  That on or about December, 2009 and in Lewis County, Kentucky, the above-named defendant unlawfully committed the offense of:  SEXUAL ABUSE IN THE FIRST DEGREE, in violation of KRS 510.110 a Class D Felony, Violation Code 11220, when he subjected an adult female, P. H., to sexual contact by forcible compulsion.  ALL AGAINST THE PEACE AND DIGNITY OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY.

The Commonwealth, with its dignity duly insulted, offered 4 years for a guilty plea for this Class D Felony charge and tendered this recommendation on July 27, 2012. As is often the case in our system of “swift” justice - with years of pre-trial hearings cancelled and rescheduled and after multiple prosecutors assigned and removed from the case - the Felony charge was ultimately plead down on March 7th of this year and amended to a misdemeanor Disorderly Conduct with 12 months, conditionally discharged for 2 years and no contact with the victim.

The details contained in the 80+ pages of court records in this case are difficult and disgusting to read.  Suffice it that the victim alleges that on that December day in 2009, her Director of Transportation at Lewis County Public Schools asked her to have a seat in his office while he dispatched the two other employees there on an errand and then instructed her to follow him out into the bus garage to show her something. Thinking he wanted to show her something on a bus, she followed but claims he pulled her into the garage bathroom out of camera view.  “While in the bathroom, the victim reported that the “examinee” held her against her will, rubbed her breast with his hand, rubbed her vagina with his hand and kissed or licked her neck”.  There’s more.

That last bit in quotation marks comes directly from the KY State Police’s Polygraph Report administered on April 10, 2012 and is why the defendant is referred to as the “examinee”.  Questions asked of the defendant in that polygraph included -  Q – Did you touch that woman’s breast while in the bathroom?  Answer – No.  Q – Did you touch that woman’s vagina?  A – No. -  The final narrative of the polygraph states - “The results show that (the defendant) showed Deception on the Polygraph”.  

So come on out, baggage and all – Scott County Schools is hiring!

Sunday, July 27, 2014


We get why the Scott County School Board wants to keep their July 8, 2014 unanimous and glowing evaluation of their Superintendent quiet.

Yep, it was just two summers ago that the 2012 School Board put this community in an uproar when they gave the same Super a $19,740 annual raise.  No wonder the 2014 iteration made no mention at this past meeting that they were going into executive session to conduct a summative (final) evaluation of their Superintendent.  And no surprise that afterward they purposely left that fact out from their “Board Meeting Summary”, published just after that meeting and still findable under the “more district news” tab on the district’s website.  And then, as if to cover themselves after we exposed that little omission in our last post, they laughably stuck mention of the evaluation deep in an unrelated article posted on the district’s homepage.  That article has now mysteriously disappeared  (even from the archives). 

But what explains our local News Graphic newspaper failing to mention the evaluation, now nine editions later? Neither of two separate articles concerning the July 8 School Board meeting published by the newspaper made mention of the evaluation or the executive session that produced it.  Folks, our School Board commands a $54 million annual budget (second only to Toyota and almost the sum of both county and city government) and an additional $100 million of bonding capacity that is not being held accountable. In any other community, this is the job of the local newspaper.  For whatever reason, that simply is not happening in Scott County. More on this in a future post.

But there may be another reason to hide this particular evaluation.  You see, it comes on the heels of Superintendent Patricia Putty’s finding that her recent Director of Transportation hire did not violate school board policy when he discussed and drew a penis in a bus driver training session (see our previous posts titled “NUMB”, “THE PRINCE WHO WOULD BE KING” and ”NO VIOLATION OF POLICY”).  Not that he didn’t discuss and draw the penis, mind you - those facts remain uncontested - but that doing so didn’t violate policy.  It did.

Let’s see?  Didn’t a Scott County Middle School teacher just begin serving a jail term for sexually engaging with a female student?  Hmmm.  And didn’t an indictment just come down on a Scott County High School teacher for sexually engaging with a student.  Neither should come as a surprise with the message sent by this latest evaluation.

Implicit in the Board’s evaluation is an endorsement that it is OK for Scott County Schools department heads to subject subordinates to sexually explicit discussions and drawings. Implicit in their evaluation is that it is OK for their Superintendent to ignore board policy. School Board - you hide your evaluation because of your shame.  Your evaluation adds insult to the injury of 28 brave school bus drivers who finally found the courage to say “enough is enough” and file grievance against the artist administrator.  Can you imagine the hell that would be paid should a superior of Board Member Jo Anna Fryman subject her to the same at Georgetown College?  

The 2012 School Board earned the Morehead News “Knucklehead Award” when they gave the same Superintendent the unprecedented 15% raise. The message this evaluation sends eclipses that absurdity and earns each member of the 2014 Scott School Board membership on Team Penis.  
Shame be on each and every member of the 2014 Scott County School Board.

Saturday, July 12, 2014


It was a simple question.  She followed the Scott County School Board’s own public comment policy to a tee so she could ask it.  All the question required was a simple yes or no answer. Yet Board Chairman Roger Ward would not allow Carole Landry to ask it at last Tuesday evening’s Scott County School Board meeting.

Instead Roger sent Mrs. Landry to the hallway outside the Board room to ask the question in private of Board Attorney Bob Chenowith.  This, mind you, at a “public” meeting.  Nine full minutes were spent out in that hallway for what should have been a simple yes or no answer.  And not one protest.  Not one Board Member spoke up and defended Mrs. Landry’s right to ask her question in public. No protest from the newspaper, typically a defender of free speech.  For nine whole minutes thumbs were twiddled, but no hint of a protest.  When Mr. Chenowith and Mrs. Landry returned, the meeting continued as if nothing had happened.

Only Mrs. Landry knew what she wanted to ask, so why did Roger protest so?  Because Roger’s policy requires anyone from the public wishing to comment, first sign up  stating  the agenda item about which they wish to comment.  Mrs. Landry did just that, not knowing Roger could pick and choose what he would allow the public to discuss. Roger wasn’t about to allow any comment or question about this topic.  And NO ONE protested! 

The question?  The simple question?  Here it is.  Is the Superintendent's evaluation mentioned in agenda item #32 a “summative” evaluation?  WOAH!!!     OUT OF BOUNDS!!!!!     FOUL!!!!

We get it that Roger and Co. wanted to keep the evaluation secret, what with past debacles, and with no mention in the nine News Graphics published since, it appears he has succeeded.  Already past due and in violation of state law on this evaluation, Roger obviously was attempting to avoid giving the evaluation entirely, just as he recently attempted to avoid board redistricting.  Too bad for him a citizen petition forced the latter and our previous post outed him on the former.  The evaluation agenda item showed up on the Board Agenda  mere hours after we posted about it Thursday before last.

But, other than for Roger’s deceit, there should have been no need for Mrs. Landry’s question in the first place.  The agenda should have denoted whether or not the evaluation was to be “summative”.  But instead Roger hid mention of it almost entirely among the legalese of the Board retiring to “executive session” with no mention of the evaluation being “summative”.  Why is it important?  Why does it matter?  Because the process the law provides for intends the public be made aware of a Superintendent's evaluation. It's entirely possible the newspaper reporter didn't even know of the Board's intention to conduct a summative evaluation, explaining his leaving the meeting at 8pm.

State law allows school boards to go into “executive session” (i.e. “meet in private”) for only a few reasons, one being to discuss the evaluation of their Superintendent.  Now you wouldn’t know it from the behavior of the Scott County School Board, but all other business outside executive session is to be conducted before the public in a public meeting.  Our  Board, even after our electing two new “agents of change” in November 2012, continues to conduct much of the public’s business privately. Any business this Board doesn’t want before the public is simply approved without any public discussion.  Since the public hasn’t access to the materials the Board has before them and are not allowed to comment once the Board gets into its agenda, many items are approved as the public sits in the dark.

After any executive session intended only for "preliminary" discussion of the Superintendent’s evaluation, the Board must, upon return from that executive session ( unless otherwise listed on the meeting agenda)  adjourn and conduct no other business.  Boards may go into executive session for “preliminary” discussions of their Superintendent’s evaluation as often as they deem necessary but eventually must wrap up the process with a Board Meeting for a “summative” evaluation.  The law regarding summative evaluations requires that when the Board comes out of a summative executive session, the public be apprised of their summative finding.  This is why Mrs. Landry’s question was critical. Mrs. Landry wanted to know whether to remain for the unknown duration of the executive session.  If the evaluation were to be "preliminay" with no summative component, she would have preferred to go home.

Who can know the Board Attorney’s nine minute response to Mrs. Landry’s simple question out in that hallway?  Only a lawyer can obfuscate a simple yes or no answer into nine minutes. What we do know is that Mrs. Landry returned to the meeting somewhat confused but pretty sure he said there was to be no summative evaluation.

We also know a couple of other things about the diminutive, white haired, 70 something  Carole Landry.  1 -  she has more courage than our School Board members possess in sum total.  Recall the district’s lilliputian Human Resource Director removing her from a meeting earlier this spring for her demanding the truth be told. And  2 -  SHE’S NOBODY’S FOOL!  When the Board left the public meeting room last Tuesday night at 8pm to go to their executive session room, Mrs. Landry and her husband Brad didn’t take a chance on that nine minutes of lawyer speak.  Rather, she and Brad set up camp, along with their video camera, just in case the Board did come back and serve up a summative surprise.

AND THAT THEY DID!  Realizing at 11:15pm that the Landrys were prepared to stay the night if necessary, the Board returned -  WITH A SUMMATIVE STATEMENT!  Maybe 15 seconds in total (Roger even suggested the Board Members not bother sitting down) Roger finished by saying “The Board is pleased with the success of Scott County Schools and the success of its students under the leadership of Mrs. Putty”.  As if rehearsed and almost before the last syllable left Roger’s mouth, his Vice Chair Jo Anna Fryman moved to adjourn and her motion was seconded by Haley Conway. Meeting over! The public can only presume any vote was unanimous.

There has since been nine Georgetown News Graphic newspaper editions published, with two separate articles concerning that Board meeting, neither with any mention whatsoever that a Superintendent evaluation was even conducted, much less the summations of the evaluation.  The district has also published its slanted “Board Meeting Summary”, also with absolutely no mention of the evaluation or executive session.

Had the Landry’s left the meeting from Carole’s understanding of the 9 minute hallway response to her question, the summative evaluation would have been the Board’s own little secret to be discreetly hidden in the minutes of the meeting published weeks later. This blog site appreciates the Landrys filming of School Board meetings.  The community should too.

Check back in soon as we delve deeper in to what all this deceit means and what the provocative title of this post means. Oh, and we don't know whether or not a raise was granted.  Just so the newspaper knows, the law provides for you to receive upon request a full written report of the evaluation, which might tell us.  But remember, just as the law provides that school districts must provide newspapers records of school district employee's salaries, the newspaper must first request it. Just sayin'....

Thursday, July 3, 2014


Recall the recent Office of Education Accountability finding that Scott County Schools Superintendent Patricia Putty failed to perform annual evaluations of her department heads, violating State Law and School Board Policy?  Turns out these failings come honestly.  She herself was last evaluated in December 2012, violating State Law and Scott Board Policy.  Here’s what Board Policy 02.14 dictates concerning the evaluation of our Superintendent.

Frequency of Evaluation

The Superintendent shall be evaluated annually in writing by the Board, and the summative evaluation shall be made available to the public on request.


The summative evaluation of the Superintendent shall be discussed and adopted in an open meeting of the Board and reflected in the minutes.


State law provides for a minimum two step process for School Boards to evaluate their Superintendents.  Part one is call a “formative evaluation” in which Board Members work in private to prepare their evaluation.  We recall our Board retiring to executive session early last spring for this purpose.  Step two is, as referenced above, a “summative evaluation” that presents the finalized evaluation to the public. That summative was due June 30.

In an obvious slap in the face, with two lame ducks leaving the board after being voted out in November 2012, that board performed both the formative and the summative evaluation at the same meeting, their last in December, 2012, robbing the newly seated Board of an evaluation opportunity at the typical time just before the end of the fiscal year in June, 2013.

Our “new” Board could technically have performed their evaluation last December but didn’t.  We assumed they didn’t so as to correct the misdeed of the previous Board with the intent of getting the schedule back on its proper fiscal year cycle. Now we’re not so sure.

With the passing of June 30, 2014, our School Board is now out of compliance with State Law and its own policy.  Are we going to have to research State Law to see if there is provision for a public petition to force an evaluation?  Seems petitions are the only way to get this “new” Board to do their jobs.

Why do you suppose our Board is reticent to evaluate their Superintendent?  We can guess but fully expect to see some sort of action now that we have posted about it.  Shame though that a blog site has to keep our School Board honest.  That’s the function of the local newspaper in any other community. Word is our News Graphic publisher, Mike Scogin, was overheard in a jovial meeting and then seen leaving the Superintendent’s office this past Tuesday morning.

What’s next?  Another $19,740 raise?

Saturday, June 28, 2014

"There's Somethin' Happenin' Here" - Buffalo Springfield

In his opening comments to the Kentucky State School Board on Thursday, Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) Associate Commissioner Kevin Brown thanked Board Members who had hastily gathered from around the state for “…coming to this unusual special meeting.  But it was necessary” he said. 

Necessary indeed.  While only a blip on most folk’s radar, last Thursday’s State School Board Special Called Meeting, called for the express and exclusive purpose of ordering the Scott County School Board to realign its voting districts, was seismic in KY public school circles.  Mr. Brown’s statement was profound and explains why media outlets and professional organizations across the state picked up on this story, including the Lexington Herald Leader and the Kentucky School Boards Association.

What turned our “Chief State School Officer”, Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday, from his original course as outlined in our previous post? Maybe it was an accumulation of things and events.  Maybe it was the phone calls you made to individual Kentucky School Board (KSB) members.  Maybe it was the persistence of petition gatherers Brad and Carole Landry.  Or maybe it was the integrity and professionalism evident in the work and attitude of Scott County Clerk Rebecca Johnson as she validated the Landry’s petition for the Commissioner.  Or maybe it was as simple as our last post alerting him of KRS 160.210’s provision that would have rendered his original course moot had a special session not been called.  If so, that’s OK.  KRS 160.210 is an obscure, never before used statute.  He can be forgiven a lack of familiarity as it was, in Mr. Brown’s words, an “unusual” situation.

As the ripples spread across the state from this directive, expect a flurry of local school board redistricting as the locals become aware of their own out of proportioned districts.  But Scott received State Board attention not because their districts were out of proportion but rather because Scott County Board Chairman Roger Ward refused to allow his Board to correct it.  Yes, the rare Special Called State School Board Meeting may have occurred because of all the reasons mentioned above, but be sure it was “necessary” ONLY because Roger and Company’s purpose had finally become evident to the Commissioner and was about to become a big embarrassment for the KDE.  Roger now has 30 days to affect redistricting or else risk his seat being cast "at large" for the November election.  You can bet redistricting will now happen.

Come back soon as we intend to further explore the ramifications and the reactions of this State School Board directive, particularly exploring the response and reporting from our local News Graphic newspaper.  Yes, there’s definitely something happening there. " What it is ain’t exactly clear”.



Friday, June 20, 2014

Don't You Just Love When A Plan Comes Together?

A letter from  Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday to State School Board Chair Roger Marcum, after stating the evidence concerning Scott County School Board district populations, ends with this paragraphBased on this evidence, it is my conclusion that the school district divisions are unequally divided at this time. Accordingly it is my recommendation, as chief state school officer, that the KBE at its August 2014 meeting "order the local board of education to make changes in school district divisions as are necessary to equalize the population within the five (5) school divisions." The local board of education is not prevented from proceeding to address this issue prior to action by the KBE in August. Terry Holliday, Ph.D.

Please Dr. Commissioner?  With all that high paid legal councel that surrounds you, you expect us to buy that you don’t know that even if the State Board follows your recommendation, our local Board would be in violation of KRS 160.210 should they make a change after August 1st?  Yes folks, Mr. Holliday’s letter sounds good, but be assured it is all choreographed. Remember that little corollary of KRS 160.210 that is conveniently not mentioned here?  It isn’t mentioned because it need not be, because soon our local school board will “proceed to address this issue” as planned all along.  At the eleventh hour.

It’s disheartening how thick these…these…these ”bureaucrats”  are. They all know and have known that - No change shall be made in the boundary of any division after August 1 in the year in which a member of the school board is to be elected from any division. This corollary to KRS 160.210 is to protect the integrity of an imminent election, with August 1 an arbitrary date to protect thus. With full knowledge a citizen petition was headed their way, the goal became to make sure the State School Board would not hear the results of the Commissioner’s investigation until after the August 1st deadline, rendering the investigation moot. Taking full advantage of a US Postal Service delay in delivering the petition and unnecessarily using the full 30 days the law allows to complete the no-brainer “investigation” thus prevented the State School Board hearing the results at their June 5th meeting. June 5th would have allowed plenty of time to affect KRS 160.210 before the August 1st deadline.

But now, expect our local Board Chair, Roger Ward, as agreed, to “proceed to address this issue” just in time to confuse the electorate as close to the August 1 date as he and the Ph.D.  dares, and over a year after the issue was brought before Mr. Ward. In their minds, this saves face for both Roger and the Commish. It also limits participation in the November election for Mr. Ward’s seat as potential candidates will be unsure in which district they reside with a deadline of August 12th to file candidacy papers.

We will soon post a chronological “preponderance of evidence” that will start to tie in all the parties involved here and the lengths they have gone to, to install their chosen and the lengths they are now going to, to protect the status quo.  We will leave to you the “why”.

Saturday, June 7, 2014


A School Board can discuss any issue until the cows come home but cannot ACT on an issue unless that issue is first placed on their meeting agenda.  The School Board Chairman controls what shall and what shall not be placed on the Board’s agenda. 

In May of 2013, School Board Member Haley Conway brought his and our County Clerk’s concern of Scott County’s blatantly dis-proportionate School Board voting district population numbers before the School Board.  Those numbers reveal that our Board Chairman’s district has him representing only  4,671 of the county’s citizenry, a paltry 10%, while Mr. Conway wore out a lot of shoe leather attempting to visit all 12,706 of his constituents in his 2012 re-election bid, a hefty 27%.  Districted appropriately each district would represent 9,500 or so citizens or 20% each.  24 year Board Member Rebecca Sams’ district only represents 15%, while Jennifer Holbert represents 23% and Jo Anna Fryman represents 25%.

No doubt these numbers are way out of whack, as Ms. Sams admits the Boards she chaired for most of her 24 years failed to even once redistrict to keep the numbers balanced as State Law expects.  Here is what the law states in KRS 160.210;

The board of education of each county school district shall divide its district into five (5) divisions containing integral voting precincts and as equal in population insofar as is practical.  Any changes made in division shall be to make divisions as equal in population and containing integral voting precincts insofar as is practical.


Mr. Conway simply asked the Board to make changes to equalize the populations as the law allows. But here we are, well over a year since these concerns were first and repeatedly brought before Chairman Roger Ward, and Mr. Ward has refused to place them on an agenda so the Board can act. This with County Clerk Rebecca Johnson and team having presented the Board with a perfect redistricting solution in April. And at last Thursday’s  Scott School Board meeting Ward continued his embarrassing resistance to redistricting.  To date, Roger has expended more of his and other’s energy avoiding redistricting than would have been expended doing what is the Chair’s duty in the first place.  Board members left Thursday’s meeting thinking Roger had finally agreed to place this item on next Tuesday’s meeting agenda.  Think again board members! Tuesday’s agenda only includes the following item -  approvE REQUESTING ADDITIONAL PROPOSAL(S) FOR sCOTT COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION DISTRICT BOUNDARIES. We were initially wrong about Roger.  Turns out he is transparent after all.  In your face transparent.

Why you ask?  Why would Roger purposely avoid doing what best serves the voting public and best aligns with the guiding principle of “one man, one vote”?  Simple politics.

You see, Roger and sidekick Becky Sams are up for re-election this year.  Now, keep in mind that Mr. Conway first introduced this need LAST YEAR in a non-election year as was appropriate.  But Roger and Ms. Sams benefit greatly from their low numbers come an election.  Sadly, very few show up at the polls to vote in the first place, particularly in non-presidential year elections as this one will be, but even  fewer, much fewer bother to vote in school board races.  It’s very much why we have had the school boards we have.  Anyway, so few vote for school board in Roger’s small district, that his Church congregation alone can keep him installed in office.  Expanding his district dilutes those obligatory votes.  Of course, none of this even matters if someone doesn’t step up and care enough to oppose Roger. The deadline to file to run against Roger or Becky is August 12. And there’s the next rub.  Roger has successfully delayed this issue to the point that even if a recently filed petition forces his hand, it will minimally confuse the electorate so close to the filing deadlines of August 12.

The better question to ask is why does his Vice Chair, and Georgetown College colleague Jo Anna Fryman, vacillate so.  In a meeting she Chaired in Mr. Ward’s absence in March, Mrs. Fryman conducted a vote of the four members present that resulted in her siding with the majority in a three to one (Becky Sams of course) tally supporting redistricting. But back in the Professor’s presence last Thursday evening, her convictions seemed to melt away.  What gives here?  Recall that Mrs. Fryman’s curious vote elected Rog as Board Chair.

The law did anticipate Roger, however.  A little known provision of the same law allows the citizenry to force redistricting should a Board Chair refuse. The mechanism is little known because healthy school boards maintain their voting district proportioning and thus the provision has rarely if ever been used. The law reads;  If one hundred (100) residents of a county school district division petition the KY Board of Education stating that the school district divisions are not divided as nearly equal in population as can reasonably be expected, the chief state school officer shall cause an investigation to determine the validity of the petition, the investigation to be completed within thirty (30) days after receipt of the petition.  If the investigation reveals the school district to be unequally divided according to population, the KY Board of Education, upon the recommendation of the chief state school officer, shall order the  local board of education to make changes in school district divisions as are necessary to equalize population within the five (5) school divisions.

Such a petition was made and has been validated as proper, BUT because the US Postal Service misplaced the certified mailing of the petition for 20 days, the chief state school officer (Education Commissioner Terry Holliday) did not have ample time to complete his investigation in time to make his recommendation to the KY Board of Education at its June 5th meeting.  This Postal Service delay is critical in that the law goes on to state -   No change shall be made in the boundary of any division after August 1 in the year in which a member of the school board is to be elected from any division.  The KY Board of Education is not scheduled to meet again until August 6th.  Convenient, huh?

What can be done?  You, yes you , can join us in contacting the KY Board of Education and requesting they call a special meeting to hear this issue. Call Kevin Brown at 502-564-4474 and call Mary Ann Miller at 502-564-3141. Time is of the essence as a special meeting would need convened as soon as possible and certainly before month’s end.  Respectfully request that because our school board district populations are so out of balance, and because the issue has been purposely avoided since being brought up over a year ago, and because of the US Postal Service’s failure to timely deliver the petition, the KY Board of Education call a special meeting as soon as possible to receive the Commissioner’s recommendation.  It wouldn’t hurt to contact the Commissioner’s office also at 502-564-3141 to encourage his timely attention as well. 

Now that the petition has been certified, Roger Ward will put on appearances as if he is concerned with the Board’s need to redistrict.  And he will do so comfortably with assurance that he has stalled the effort sufficiently that  any  redistricting effort will fail to make the August 1 deadline, or in the worst case, close enough to the August 12 filing deadline for School Board candidates that the electorate will be confused. Make no mistake though, the citizenry, through a petition, has once again had to force our elected representatives on our School Board to do their job.  Please remember that in November!