I never thought Sisney was on the wrong track. All of his arguments were very logical.

    The gang of three appeared to me as playing CYA.

    I favor logic over rhetoric.

Rusted Computer:
    " Hmmmmmm! If OSBI and the State Auditor's office has refered purchasing issues to the Attorney General's office, then maybe Dr. Sisney wasn't on such an unfounded witch hunt after
    all. I think there are certain people in this city that should be getting pretty worried at this point.

Interested Citizen:
    You want to confuse legal strategy with lack of evidence.

There is too much good stuff here.  250 words - the Ledger limit - is not enough.  Though I have to give them credit -  they have been very good lately about not censoring comments.  

JustAnotherOkie says that all of Sisney's arguments were very logical.  Others seem quick to jump on Reynolds' premature presumption of an upcoming criminal investigation of the BA board.  
Interested Citizen brought up lack of evidence.


Let's look at the basis for these assumptions:  Sisney's accusations.

Sisney claimed to the media in January 2009 that he had uncovered documents, found evidence,and had conversations that showed that, in his words, "criminal activities involving the
expenditure of public money have taken place in the school district since at least the 1990’s and a massive cover-up scheme is now under way to keep this information from being disclosed."

Yet in his deposition taken December 2009 -- 11 months after he claims to have uncovered documents, found evidence, and had conversations -  he says that he has no evidence.  

Page 174 of the deposition:

Rainey:  Do you have any facts to support that Air Assurance has improperly billed the school district for work performed?
Sisney:  Yes.
Rainey:  What evidence do you have?
Sisney:  I have knowledge in my brain.  I'll give you a real simple one.
Rainey:  I want to know it all.
Sisney:  I can't tell you it all.  It's massive.  They got $3.1 million over a period of years.
Rainey:  So.
Sisney:  Well -
Rainey:  I want to know the facts that you have that Air Assurance improperly billed the school district for work it did not perform?
Sisney:  No, you changed the question.
Rainey:  Okay.
Sisney:  So I don't know your question.
Rainey:  Okay.  Let me rephrase it.
Sisney:  There we go.
Rainey:  What facts do you have that Air Assurance billed the Broken Arrow Public Schools for work that it performed at the request of the Broken Arrow Public Schools?
Sisney:  I'm not going to speculate, so I'm going to say I don't know.
Rainey:  You don't know any facts as we sit here today?
Sisney:  Right.
Rainey:  What facts do you have that anybody from Air Assurance ever paid an employee of the school district any money or other benefit in exchange for work being provided by the school district
to Air Assurance?
Sisney:  I don't have any personal facts.
Rainey:  What facts do you have that Air Assurance engaged in any illegal activities with the Broken Arrow Schools?
Sisney:  Is this about Air Assurance or the District?  
Rainey:  Well, it goes to this whole criminal enterprise that is being asserted throughout your Complaint, so the question is as it was posed.  And I'll have the court reporter read it back.  (court
reporter repeats question)  
Sisney:  I don't know.  
Rainey:  You have no facts you can testify to today?  
Sisney:  Not today.  There's an investigation going on, and I think that's going to determine my assumptions.
Rainey:  Investigation by whom?
Sisney:  I think it's the OSBI and the state auditor's office.

The alleged conspiracy with Air Assurance is at the very heart of Sisney's claims - yet 15 months after he filed his first lawsuit around this central issue, he has
no facts?  11 months after he told
the media about criminal activities and a massive coverup
specifically involving Air Assurance, and warned that "the information I’ve found, the documents I’ve collected and the conversations I've
had suggest issues that rise to the level of criminal behavior"  - he has
no facts?  In a deposition for the court case he filed?  

How could he have filed two court cases relating to this issue and then come to a deposition 15 months after filing the first one completely unprepared, with nothing whatsoever to back up his
claims?  He had 6 months between the time he uncovered the corruption and the time he was fired. Would a real whistleblower not have documented what he found during the 6 months - before
filing  lawsuits, getting railroaded out of his job, and announcing to the media that he had solid evidence?  

How does anybody take him seriously?  How can anyone explain the complete and utter lack of evidence, despite his having an enormous window of opportunity to gather, analyze, catalog, and
organize the information he had found and the documents he had collected?  And where are the witnesses to the conversations he had had?  He called NONE in his federal lawsuit.

Sisney says at the end of this topic in the deposition that the outcome of the OSBI and state auditor's office will determine his assumptions.  Okay, 15 months after he filed his first lawsuit he
doesn't even know what his assumptions are?  What in the world did he file the lawsuits based on then?

Seriously, this is your guy?
The flyer is available to download and share.  Click on the flyer image to download a pdf.
Comment Hall of Shame
...click for more of the best!

Interested Citizen wrote on Jan 21, 2010 4:44 PM:
My firm assertion is that as the end gets near, a certain
part of a few individuals' anatomy is puckering up very
tightly. Does that include you?"
*** Caution:  finish your coffee first ***
Business-like Acumen Section
Acumen:  Quickness, accuracy, and keenness of judgment or insight.
Sisney agrees that one of the claims in his federal lawsuit is for Breach of Contract....

Page 22:  
[Rainey]  Third claim is for Breach of Contract or approximately paragraph three; is that correct?
[Sisney]  That's correct.

But then says at multiple points in the deposition that he has never read his contract with BAPS...

Page 20:
[Rainey] This contract [with BASD] was required to pay your contract benefits through June 30th of that school year, correct?
[Sisney] I think that's right.  I never read it.
[Rainey] You haven't read your contract?
[Sisney] No.

Page 207
[Rainey]  Well, there's a provision in your contract, is there not, for a bonus to be awarded at the discretion of the board?
[Sisney]  I don't know.  I didn't read it.

Page 184
[Rainey]  I believe you testified earlier that prior to today you hadn't read your superintendent's contract with the Broken Arrow School District; is that correct?
[Sisney]  I never did design it.
[Rainey]  Who designed it?  The attorneys for the school district at the time?
[Sisney]  Well, you know, believe it or not, most of the time it was Wes Smithwick.  
[Rainey]  A board member?
[Sisney]  A board member, then somebody I hired.  I mean, he was always the one handling all that seems like, so I never did - I never asked for anything.
He doesn't look at his paychecks either; he relies on his wife to tell him how much he makes...

Page 184
[Rainey]  These [paycheck documents] appear to be breakdowns of the amount of money you were paid by the Sperry School District for the 2009-2010 school year?
[Sisney]  Yes.
[Rainey]  Any reason to dispute that?
[Sisney]  No.  Believe it or not, I don't read my contracts, and I hand my checks to my wife, and we do warrants at Sperry.  They don't do direct deposits because they control interest
earnings better that way.

Page 200
[Rainey]  What do you understand your diminished earning capacity is as part of the damages with the Broken Arrow School District with this lawsuit?
[Sisney]  Well, I think my wife told me currently it's $7,500 a month.
He doesn't know what position is the CEO of the board of education (hint:  it's the superintendent)...

Page 35:
[Rainey]  The superintendent of a public school in Oklahoma is the chief executive officer of the board of education, correct?
[Sisney]  No.
[Rainey]  Who is the chief executive officer of the board of education in Oklahoma, to your knowledge?
[Sisney]  Could you describe the point of your question, so I'll understand it.
[Rainey]  The point of my question is who is the chief executive officer of the board of education in Oklahoma, to your knowledge?
[Sisney]  Are you implying that the board of education is the school district, or it's a separate entity from the infrastructure?  [612: infrastructure?]
[Rainey]  Dr. Sisney, you testified earlier that a school board is the elected governing body of the school district, correct?
[Sisney]  I did.
[Rainey]  Okay.  So I'm asking you who is the chief executive officer of the board of education of a public school district in Oklahoma, to your knowledge?
[Sisney]  I think your answer is a little confused because I never saw myself -
[Rainey]  I'm just asking you, sir, if you know.
[Sisney]  I don't know.
[Rainey]  When you were the superintendent of the Broken Arrow Public Schools, who was the chief executive officer of the Broken Arrow Board of Education?
[Sisney]  I don't know the answer to that in terms of your stating it.

Page 91
[Rainey]  Would you view the superintendent or school - do you view the position of the superintendent as being captain of the ship?
[Sisney]  I think you stated that it was the CEO, so I don't know about the metaphor.
[Rainey]  All when you were -
[Sisney]  I've never been on a ship.
He was the only one at the board meeting who didn't understand that his suspension was immediate...

Page 68
[Rainey]  And after you had been suspended - well, you were at the board meeting when the board voted to suspend you, correct?  
[Sisney]  Uh-huh.
[Rainey]  And that suspension was immediate, correct; you understood that?
[Sisney]  I did not understand.
[Sisney]  You didn't understand?
[Rainey]  When did you think it was going to take place?
[Sisney]  In my brain, the next day.
He made accusations of violations of the Oklahoma bidding law but doesn't know who it applies to...

Page 85
[Rainey]  Oklahoma bidding law doesn't apply to private business, does it?
[Sisney]  It does apply to private business because that's who gets the competitive bid for the business as a vendor.
[Rainey]  A private business that is bidding on a - who is soliciting bids for a project is not subject to the Oklahoma Competitive Bidding act, is it?
[Sisney]  Private business is subject to competitive bidding law, but they don't execute competitive bidding.

...and doesn't know what the recourse or penalties are for violations...

Page 90
[Rainey]  You're aware that the only recourse for a violation of the Competitive Bidding Act is a protest made within ten days after the awarding of the contract, correct?
[Sisney]  No, I'm not aware of that.  I've read it at different times, but my answer is I don't know.
[Rainey]  So what are the penalties for violation of the Competitive Bidding Act, since you're aware of the act?
[Sisney]  I don't know.
He thinks the superintendent, not the board, has the authority to hire attorneys on behalf of the school district...

Page 101
[Rainey]  As the superintendent, you don't have the authority to hire attorneys on behalf of the school district, do you?
[Sisney]  Yes.
[Rainey]  You do?
[Sisney]  Yes.
He provided evidence of the massive coverup he discovered to the police department but can't remember one thing that was in it...

Page 95
[Rainey]  Did you provide documents to the Broken Arrow Police Department when you made your referral?
[Sisney]  Yes.
[Rainey]  What documents did you provide them?
[Sisney]  I can't remember.
[Rainey]  You can't remember a single document that you provided them?
[Sisney]  I can't remember the documents.
He alleged Open Meetings violations, but can't come up with one instance...

Page 162
[Rainey]  How many [Open Meetings] violations do you allege occured?
[Sisney]  I don't know, but it was surreal.
[Rainey]  What's the basis of your claim that there were violations?
[Sisney]  I think -- I don't know the answer to that.  I think other people will determine that.
[Rainey]  Can you specifically state what those violations were here at your deposition?
[Sisney]  No.
[Rainey]  Is that because you don't know what they are?
[Sisney]  I'm not totally sure, so I don't know.
[Rainey]  You don't know what the violation - what the alleged violations were, correct?
[Sisney]  Right.
[Rainey]  I'm not trying to put words in your mouth.
[Sisney]  No.  I want to say I don't know at this point.
He waited until after he was fired - six months after discovering a massive conspiracy to defraud the district out of "at least" $3.1 million dollars - before informing law enforcement
of the criminal activities HE - the superintendent - had uncovered in HIS school district...

Page 100
[Rainey]  It didn't take your dismissal to decide to turn it [evidence] over to law enforcement, did it?
[Sisney]  Did it take my dismissal?
[Rainey]  Yeah.
[Sisney]  Yes.
[Rainey]  It took your dismissal from - as an administrator of Broken Arrow Public Schools in order for you to turn over what you believed were relevant documents pertaining to criminal
activity engaged in by employees of the Broken Arrow Public Schools?
[Sisney]  Yes.
He knew that one of his claims was false, but doesn't have any idea whether he informed the investigative agencies of that important detail...

Page 189
[Rainey]  Did you tell those investigative agencies that you have no proof that Air Assurance improperly billed the school district for work performed on non school district property?
[Sisney]  I can't recall.
[Rainey]  Well, don't you think that would be important to tell them?
[Sisney]  I do.  I think it would be very important.
[Rainey]  It's not taken out of context, correct?
[Sisney]  Well, I'm not taking anything out of context.  I spend lots of time with people, and so I can't answer that question.  I don't know what was said.  There was - Tom said, "You need
some coffee?" and I said, "Yes", and I don't know.  That was a long time ago.
He doesn't know what mental pain and suffering this has caused him, but thinks others do...

Page 202
[Rainey]  What mental pain and suffering are you alleging as a result of the allegations contained in your Complaint?
[Sisney]  I don't know how to answer that.  I have to let others who have more knowledge about that answer that question.

Page 203
[Rainey]  Can you not identify the mental pain and suffering you allege to have sustained as a result of the allegations contained in the Complaint?
[Sisney]  My answer is I do not know.

Things that just didn't add up, including some hard-to-explain behavior by board members:

A timeline showing the sequence of events, with sources for all information:

The real heroes (and bad guys) on the BA board:  

Trying to make sense of Sisney's accusations leads to this question:

A whole lot of analysis from 612 on the events as they were reported:

Some not-very-nice comments from Sisney supporters who were either bamboozled or intentionally trying to mislead people:  
 Comment Hall of Shame
The Whistleblower
Sisney claimed to the media in January 2009 that he had uncovered documents, found evidence,and had conversations that showed that, in his words, "criminal activities involving the
expenditure of public money have taken place in the school district since at least the 1990’s and a massive cover-up scheme is now under way to keep this information from being

Yet in his deposition taken December 2009 -- 11 months after he claims to have uncovered documents, found evidence, and had conversations - he says that he has no evidence.

His complete deposition is here:                                             Scroll down to the "Business-like Acumen Section" on this page for some of the highlights.

The board members' Counterclaim is also posted below. It includes several emails to and from Jim Sisney that show his plans to discredit the board members who he felt threatened by.

For more background on the sequence of events, see the Timeline.

Sisney started this whole controversy in April 2008 with one of his favorite tactics:  threatening legal action.  In April, several HVAC invoices were received.  They were for legitimate
work, but had been delayed.  Their unexpected arrival coincided with "concern" Sisney brought up about a mysteriously low fund balance.  That's when he started allegedly "looking into
the relationship" between BA schools and Air Assurance, insisting that he needed to investigate before the invoices could be paid.  As board member Maryanne Flippo stated in a
confidential email to other board members, his demeanor was increasingly unprofessional, disrespectful, and combative.  She requested that they address his behavior in his

As the summer went on, the board members discussed Sisney's evaluation, and apparently suggested a revision to his contract.  Sisney did not want this revision, and was determined
to get his contract extended another year beyond the 3 years it already went out (from July 2011 through June 2012).

Sisney threatened to "go public" with the Air Assurance thing if he didn't get what he wanted in his contract.  He had at this point stated many times that Air Assurance had done nothing
wrong; that there were only internal controls within the district's operations that needed to be corrected.

When the board members refused to be intimidated into extending his contract, he filed a lawsuit against them, claiming that they had told people he had been "stealing from the
schools" and "couldn't handle money".  No one has surfaced yet who heard anybody say anything like this.

The board fired Sisney after he:
- commandeered board meetings by controlling the agenda and refusing to allow board members to discuss important business
- banned board members from communicating with their legal counsel
- attempted to get bad behavior ignored on his evaluation
- manipulated board members into helping him mislead citizens
- plotted to smear board members
- allegedly blackmailed a board member
- slandered and libeled an HVAC vendor, an eye doctor, and the school's legal counsel
- failed in his duty to report suspected corruption to any investigative or state school authority
- used school resources and employees' time to further his PR campaign
- neglected his duties as superintendent while spending time working against the District
- hired attorneys without board approval
- gathered confidential information to influence public opinion based on misinformation
- used the press to spread lies and rumors in order to generate distrust and disapproval of the board members
- filed a meritless lawsuit to intimidate the board members into extending his contract
- conspired with citizens and State Representative Mike Ritze to take meritless legal actions against the District and board members.

In January 2009, three months after he was fired, he claimed that he had found evidence of criminal activities and a massive cover-up scheme.

So far he has produced no plausible reason to believe there was "criminal activity".  He has made many vague claims, but even Sherri Combs' contrived "audit" didn't include anything
resembling Sisney's fantasy of "criminal activity" and a "massive cover-up" among District employees, board members, and Air Assurance.  

We have learned recently that many others have been involved in Sisney's deception.  Rep. Mike Ritze and Rep. Mike Reynolds, board members Stephanie Updike and Terry Stover, and
citizens Chris Tharp and Beth Snellgrove were all involved in providing Sherri Combs with the unsupported accusations she included in her "audit", as well as supplying the press with
misleading "updates" and drafts of the discredited audit report.  Snellgrove's deposition, which tells of these relationships, is here:  

Chris Tharp reportedly refused to accept any certified mail or service.  Both Ritze and Reynolds tried to evade service, then filed motions to get out of their depositions.  When that failed,
they filed appeals and were no-shows for their depositions.  The court denied their motions and they were deposed 9/29 (Ritze's was not completed due to lack of time).  See the News
and Blogs page for the appalling truth behind Reynolds' press releases and conference.  

If these people are truly fighting for truth and justice, and they believe they did the right thing by working behind the scenes with Sisney, former and current-at-the-time board members,
and Sisney's attorney brother to get real evidence to the state auditor, under the conviction that she would not be able to get it otherwise because of the corruption in the BA District,
why are they so reluctant to offer their evidence to help Sisney in his court fight against the board members who railroaded him?

Sisney dismissed his federal case, and has dismissed many of the defendants and charges in his defamation lawsuit.  He has disappeared from the media spotlight, along with Rep.
Mike Reynolds and his attacks on Broken Arrow Schools.  Beth Snellgrove has left the state, Chris Tharp has not received any awards lately for harassing the District with open records
requests, Stephanie Updike no longer feeds misinformation and misplaced blame to the media.  With Updike and Terry Stover off the board, Keith Isbell gone from his Communications
Director, and Carol Yates no longer secretary to the superintendent, only Ann Wade remains in a position to leak information.  How much longer remains to be seen.
At Long Last:  The other side of the story
"Isolate Mary Ann in all cases"
"Board Members can get squirrelly".
"F*** you very much."
Sisney's prepared script for Updike to deliver at the
board meeting, assigning motives to the three
Whistleblower or Agitator?
Read emails, deleted by Sisney and recovered by forensic computer analysis, that outline his
intentional and premeditated attack on the three board members.  

Read the advice from his attorney brother, Lee Sisney; advice which includes the following

  • Filing tortious interference with a contract against the Rampeys, for the purpose of
    silencing the "menopausal geniuses" on the board ***this was carried out in
    Sisney's 9/3/2008 lawsuit; it was successful in preventing the board members
    from speaking out about anything related in any way to Sisney's claims of
  • "Tricking your board into placing 'Executive Limitations' on Sisney as a 'good bramble
    bush for them to throw' him into, and prevent them from 'meddling into administrative
    and operational matters'..."
  • Trying to get an injunction against any board member who can be shown to have had
    a conflict of interest with the Rampeys.  *** Sisney laid the groundwork for this when
    he started the rumor by hinting in his defamation lawsuit, without stating outright,
    that Shari Wilkins had done benefits work for Air Assurance.  She has not.
"...silence the menopausal geniuses on the board..."
More laughs from the Sperry Pirate News!

"The press is more than happy to print mud-slinging
by those in positions of public trust."

- Jim Sisney, July 15, 2008, as quoted in the board
members' Counterclaim
09/05/2012 - added section for Sisney's felony lawsuit for bribery and conspiracy.
Sisney made it clear that he had uncovered piles of evidence...it's been three years and it's still MIA.
Sisney brought nothing to his deposition.  Maybe he couldn't find his list.  Here it is.
LOL all the way
Formerly the BA Parents vs. BA BOE.  Turns out some BOE members were involved too.
Ms. Nour Habib has done some great reporting lately.  It wasn't always that way on the Ledger.
See the blog for the latest from Jolie and 612!
Whether prompted by ignorance or the concerted effort to generate distrust and anger, these are really mean.
The real actions of the "heroes" on the board.

"We believe these three individuals are innocent of these charges."

                  - North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, April 11, 2007  

"...rush to accuse..."
"...faulty and unreliable accusations"
"...a painful exercise in journalistic excess..."
"...caution would have served justice better than bravado..."
      "...in the rush to condemn, a community and a state lost the ability to see clearly..."

"...our society has lost sight of the most fundamental principle of our legal system:
                       the presumption of innocence..."

Duke Lacrosse
***original as of 1/25/2011
***modified 1/25/2011
Some eye-opening entries in the Board members' Second
Prelim Witness and Exhibit List:

  • Records of an expense-paid trip for Jim and Lee Sisney
    to the NCAA basketball Final Four tournament, provided
    by Windstream.  This was back in 2007, when Sisney
    was not only superintendent of BA Schools but also on
    the Broken Arrow Economic Development Corporation
    board.  That was also the year Sharon Whelpley was
    elected to her fourth term on the school board - probably
    against Jim's wishes, considering he believed she had a
    "vendetta" against him, according to his 8/10/2008 email
    to Updike.  

  • A 2004 email from Trish Williams to Mark Bilby, copied to
    Sisney, regarding receiving gifts from vendors and "how
    we do not do business".  Sisney's 2/2/2008 email to
    Updike mentions the Chief Financial Officer departing
    "with her issues".  It sounds like she left "her issues" in
    Broken Arrow!
Also posted:  Ledger, Tulsa World, and NewsOn6 articles mentioned in
the Exhibit List, including Ledger articles deleted from their archives.  On
"Court Documents" page under the link to the Exhibit List.
Matthew Vermillion was the developer of the
BAParentsVSBABOE website, later renamed to
BAParentsForTruth.  But when this was pointed out in
comments, his name was quickly removed...
*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  
*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  
A new article pokes fun at the hypocrisy of certain individuals by
mimicking an in-depth analysis of the financial situation of one
board member while completely ignoring the bankrupties and
foreclosure of another board member.  
(confidential to Jack:  it's "veritas".)
8/30/2012 - Sisney Indicted, Final audit released
See our blog for the latest news!
How a school superintendent betrayed the Broken Arrow
Public School District and community with the willing help
of others in positions of trust
Look for commentary and news from Jolie and 612!  

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