Where is the evidence?
Sisney’s premise in his wrongful termination lawsuit is that he could not possibly have gotten a fair due process hearing. His argument is that the majority of the board was biased
against him and intent on getting rid of him. This argument is dependent on his claim that he had uncovered their collusion with Air Assurance to shut out other vendors and
allow Air Assurance freedom to take advantage of BA Schools without oversight.
"Bias" is defined as "a preference or an inclination, especially one that inhibits impartial judgment." When Sisney claims the board is "biased", he is saying that they have a reason
other than a legitimate concern about his performance to want to get rid of him. If they know of legitimate reasons that his continued employment would be bad for BA
Schools, they are not biased when they try to get rid of him - they are doing their job.
Because Sisney has to show bias, the allegation of corruption is central to his case. Without corruption, there is no personal stake in getting rid of Sisney. Without any personal
stake, there is no bias. Without bias, there is no merit to a claim that the hearing would have been unfair.
It is moot, really, whether the board was biased, and whether they had an ulterior motive in getting rid of Sisney. Biased or not, the school board is the only body with the
authority to carry out a due process hearing…and Sisney waived it. End of story.
But – if there was any possibility of the court considering Sisney’s claims -
Sisney would have to show that his claims of a coverup have merit. He convinced some in the Broken Arrow community with statements to the press. In his January 16, 2009,
interview in the Ledger, he made bold statements regarding the volumes of evidence he had uncovered – specifically mentioning documents he had uncovered in his investigation.
Broken Arrow Ledger, “Sisney believes cover-up of criminal acts taking place” 1/16/2009
“…the information I’ve found, the documents I’ve collected…” evokes an image of a large collection of evidence showing a clear trail of corruption. "...conversations I've had..."
gives the impression that many people have knowledge of the ongoing covert activities.
This is the same article where Sisney says he thinks “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.”
So – Sisney has found information, collected documents, and had conversations that suggest criminal activity since at least the 1990s and a massive cover-up scheme.
Where is the information? Where are the documents? Where are the witnesses?
Let’s look at what Sisney has provided in his federal lawsuit. That’s the one that, if it weren’t already doomed because he waived his due process hearing, would totally and
utterly depend on proving a personal stake and ulterior motives behind the board members’ vote to suspend and terminate him. Remember, without a personal stake, there is no
bias. Without bias, the board members were simply doing their job.
And remember, Sisney made the statements alleging corruption publicly. If he knows they are not true, he has committed slander/libel. So he really needs to be able to show
credible reason for believing there was corruption.
In his initial Responses on 11/14/2009 in his federal lawsuit, he provided as evidence a total of 18 pages of documents. These documents include employment contracts with BA
and Sperry, and medical information, such as reports and/or billing statements. He has provided no recordings; he now says that no recordings exist, even though he initially
stated that he had recordings of conversations between the plaintiff and the defendants. He has taken no depositions; the only deposition taken in the federal case was
Sisney's, by the defense.
Update: As of 01/20/2010, the date of the Hearing on the Motions to Compel, Sisney had provided 157 pages of documents. The wording in the minutes suggests that these
157 pages include an expert report. Attachments to the expert report are in addition to the 157 pages. It is unknown whether the documents include any evidence of
corruption among board members and AA; however, it seems unlikely that they do because in his deposition, Sisney said that the only evidence he had that the board members
were biased was his subjective belief.
Where are the invoices with the changed dates, the invoices paid without work orders attached, the under-the-table blanket purchase orders, the evidence that competitors
were shut out; the evidence that Rampey conspired with the board members to oust Sisney, the evidence that Mann and the board members violated laws to conspire together
against Sisney, the evidence that shows the pattern of retaliation and the feverish work to keep the corruption from seeing the light of day? Where are the witnesses who
could confirm the criminal activity and the measures taken to cover it up? Why no depositions?
You would think Sisney would be eager to include in his exhibits the evidence that he provided to the police department when he filed his report in December 2008. This
evidence was subsequently turned over to OSBI when they took over the investigation. Sisney did not mention in his exhibit list any documents in the hands of the police
department or OSBI, or copies of any of this evidence, for either his defamation case or his wrongful termination case. Yet - the board members did, in their exhibit list for the
defamation lawsuit. (It is not known whether the District included these documents in its exhibit list in the federal lawsuit, as the exhibit list has not been filed yet.)
Why would Sisney not include this evidence, if it illustrates the very corruption that he claims cost him his job? And why would the board members include this evidence in their
exhibit list, if it incriminated them?
The board members listed all documents in the possession of the OSBI that relate to Sisney's allegations, and all documents in the police file that relate to Sisney's allegations.
Their exhibit list was filed before any results were known from the investigation. Why would the board members include these documents, unless they were sure, without even
seeing the investigation results - that there was nothing there to incriminate them?
How can Sisney claim to have found 10 years' worth of corruption - back to the 1990's - but be unable to provide any evidence? What did he supposedly find, if not physical
evidence? What was he talking about when he said “…the information I’ve found, the documents I’ve collected…”?
How can the board have prevented him from investigating and reporting the corruption without leaving any tangible evidence? On what does he base his claim that they worked
"feverishly and against all reason" to keep the matter from seeing the light of day? How can there be “multiplicity of issues” and “strong orchestration” with no evidence
What was he talking about when he said “…the information I’ve found, the documents I’ve collected…”?
Some of the objections in Sisney's Responses seem to hint that the information requested is irrelevant. It's as if he is now trying to downplay the claims of corruption. But the
corruption he alleged is not only relevant - it's crucial to his claim of bias. Without corruption, there is no personal stake. Without a personal stake, there is no bias. And without
bias, Sisney has no grounds for claiming a due process hearing would have been unfair. *
This is not a matter of the board members being crafty enough to cover up their crimes. Sisney said he had found information and collected documents. His wording
throughout this controversy has implied that he has uncovered large volumes of evidence. He even went to the trouble of staging a show for our benefit, in order to underscore
this impression. By ostentatiously returning to the ESC after he had been suspended and told to stay off school grounds, he ensured that it would be widely reported that he
removed several boxes, which we were led to assume were full of evidence.
So...where is the evidence?
* Not to promote the idea that it matters whether Sisney has grounds to claim that his due process hearing would have been unfair. Regardless, he has no case. He waived his due process hearing.
“In my opinion, 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,” Sisney said.
The former superintendent said the biggest surprise he had was “the multiplicity of the issues that got at taxpayer money and the strong
orchestration taking place” to keep these issues from public view.