Posts Tagged ‘mark ferguson’

Editorial – Nursing student v. JCCC, Text of transcript of court ruling (Judge Eric Melgren)

Monday, January 24th, 2011

(Click here for the PDF version of the following transcript)

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

DISTRICT OF KANSAS

DOYLE BYRNES,

Plaintiff,

vs.

JOHNSON COUNTY COMMUNITY

COLLEGE, DR. CLARISSA CRAIG,

MS. JEANNE WALSH, MS. AMBER

DELPHIA, DR. MARILYN RHINEHART

and DR. DENNIS DAY,

Defendants.

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Editorial — Exclusive: Closing remarks of US District Judge Eric Melgren, ruling against Johnson County Community College, in the case of Doyle Byrnes v. JCCC; Thursday, January 6, 2011

Friday, January 21st, 2011

(Update: You can also click here for the text of the ruling.  Click below for a PDF version).

Transcript of the ruling of the court (PDF, 17 pages)

Video, WDAF Fox 4 Kansas City – Federal Judge: Johnson County Community College Board of Trustees, Board Chair Don Weiss (Democrat), President Terry Calaway illegally expelled nursing students

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

Fox 4 link.

Video, KMBC-ABC Channel 9: Federal Judge Says JCCC Board, President Terry Calaway broke the law with nursing student expulsions

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

Op-Ed: Transcript and YouTube audio, Ben Hodge and Kathy Brown interviewed by KMBZ 980′s Darla Jaye about free speech at JCCC under college leaders Terry Calaway and Jon Stewart

Monday, May 31st, 2010

The transcript follows after the YouTube audio.  This is from the Darla Jaye program on Kansas City’s KMBZ 980 AM.  Originally aired on Friday, May 28, 2010.  Four parts, total length 32 minutes.

To learn more, visit Red County.

The transcript follows after the fold:

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Op-Ed by Benjamin Hodge, Three Words that Explain the National Banking Crisis: “Meet Lynn Mitchelson”

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Hodge writes at a RedState diary entry:

Sam Brownback cannot be taken seriously while ex-banker Lynn Mitchelson remains a campaign co-chair.

Some questions for future Kansas Governor Sam Brownback:

  1. Why did you choose a provably corrupt public official to be a campaign co-chair?
  2. Why is part of your campaign team giving a no-bid legal contract to the Democratic Party Chairman’s law firm, at the largest Kansas college, and when the college’s lawyer has clear ethical problems?
  3. Are you trying to make Sarah Palin’s PAC look like a well-run organization?
  4. Should we assume that you have given up hopes of becoming a future US President?
  5. Is this how you plan on running the State of Kansas – through reckless acts of incompetence, corruption, and cover-ups, then followed by failed attempts to intimidate your critics (and even top news agencies)?  That’s what your choice of campaign co-chairs tells us.
  6. Do you realize that for every one liberal “Republican” to whom your campaign is reaching out, you are losing – perhaps permanently – the support of two or three conservative voters?
  7. Really, Senator? Really?

RedState readers, I can explain to you the national banking crisis, in three words:  Meet Lynn Mitchelson.

For 15 years, the ex-banker Lynn Mitchelson has been one of seven at-large elected trustees at Johnson County Community College.  In large part because he is now unelectable, Mitchelson will permanently retire from public office in 2011.

Mitchelson once had a reputation in Kansas City as someone who could “fix banks.”  Troubled banks would hire him as a temporary CEO, and, in theory, he would bring them back to health.   But now that his record in elected office is widely known, I’ll be surprised if he is ever again hired by a bank.  Why?  Because he is directly responsible for much of lawlessness, failed cover-ups, and retaliation that has become commonplace at JCCC.  The only thing more embarrassing than the corruption in which Mitchelson has participated, is that he has been so unsuccessful at carrying it out.  I did not properly understand the phrase “the cover-up is worse than the crime,” until I had witnessed first-hand Mitchelson at work.  Time and time again, Mitchelson’s actions have brought national embarrassment to this college, the largest college in Kansas.

I had not planned on writing about Mitchelson’s work, but today I’ve learned that JCCC leaders have made malicious, baseless legal threats directly to the top conservative news organization RedCounty.com, where I have written in detail about JCCC’s culture of corruption.

Inexplicably, the once-thought-to-be-conservative Sam Brownback months ago made Mitchelson a key part of Brownback’s 2010 campaign for governor, even though Mitchelson’s public record was already well-known.  Brownback campaign manager David Kensinger - who apparently is under the illusion that Brownback can literally do whatever he wants, and that Brownback then will automatically receive the enthusiastic support of conservatives – doesn’t want to talk about it.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

Opinion – The call for “do-over” is an admission of guilt by Calaway, VanArsdale: Unprecedented corruption, incompetence within JCCC leadership causes business to grind to a halt

Monday, June 15th, 2009

After Trustee Benjamin Hodge brought sunshine to the ongoing corruption at Johnson County Community College under President Terry Calaway — most recently, with regard to questions surrounding how truly competitive the “competitive bid” for legal services is — Calaway and elected Board Chair Shirley Brown-VanArsdale ran for cover Monday and cancelled tonight’s scheduled meeting.

JCCC has not once in 40 years performed a competitive bidding process for its main lawyer.  Elected leaders VanArsdale and Lynn Mitchelson had pledged to bid out this contract, but it quickly became apparent that the two had no interest in putting first the interests of the public. (more…)

Kaw and Border: Dewey, Cheatem, and (Steve) Howe?

Saturday, May 2nd, 2009

Kaw and Border:

In fact, according to today’s article in the Star by Jim Sullinger, the board’s attorney, Mark Ferguson, told the board in March that no violation occurred because the budget reduction list was presented to the board during an evaluation of Calaway.

Is this seriously their new defense?…

Steve Howe by all accounts is doing a good job. But, he is a politician like the rest of them and he was elected on a coalition that included some of these country club types that permeate the board. One can only guess that these folks would simply like this issue to go away, and for Howe to, in his opinion, rule that no violation occurred, vindicating their secret meetings and as such, their post-offense ridiculous exchanges with Hodge. To put it simply, they are assuredly all hoping D.A. Howe squashes that annoying wasp once and for all.

Of course, not all feel that way and that includes this blog. Even if the original violation was minor, there is no doubt, if the Kansas Open Meetings Act is to have any validity, that the JCCC Board of Trustees, by presenting budget information in an executive session, and by coordinating efforts in private in a letter to the Star, violated that law — both in word and in spirit.

As noted earlier, what’s the entire point of having such a law if BUDGET discussions are going to be held in private?

After unethical behavior and thousands of dollars wasted by JCCC leaders to cover-up mistakes, Hodge requests formal review by JoCo District Attorney

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

In December, JCCC attorney Mark Ferguson told four members of the JCCC Board of Trustees — including the board chair and vice-chair — that they broke the open meetings law.  In March, JCCC leaders lied by saying that they have always followed the law.

In March, JCCC leaders Shirley Brown-VanArsdale and Lynn Mitchelson gave new meaning to the phrase “the cover-up is worse than the crime” by wasting thousands of dollars on legal fees, when the purpose was only meant to mislead the public.  They even asked JCCC Mark Ferguson to get an “unofficial opinion” — whatever that means — from the district attorney and state attorney general, though the public was never made aware about those discussions.

Only Trustee Benjamin Hodge has now asked for an official opinion from District Attorney Steve Howe, who has confirmed to The Kansas City Star that an investigation is under way.

Prime Buzz:

Here are the instances he wants the DA to examine.

He wrote a letter to the editor, which was printed in The Star Nov. 29, suggesting the board might be considering an increase in property taxes. It prompted a December letter signed by four of the six trustees denying Hodge’s assertion.

Hodge believes a letter signed by a majority of the board violated the open meetings law.

He believes the second violation may have occurred during a closed executive session Feb. 19 in which the board met to review the performance of Terry Calaway, college president.

Prior to the meeting, Hodge said he would evaluate Calaway based on a budget proposal that did not raise taxes.

Calaway responded during his closed evaluation with a list of more than 50 budget cuts being considered at the time as administrators worked on a budget proposal that was presented to the board earlier this month.

Hodge said he never asked for such a list to be presented during Calaway’s review. Calaway said he presented the list to show Hodge that he was working on reductions that ultimately would not raise taxes.

Recent mini-summary at Red County of blogosphere coverage on KOMA

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

Red County:

Here is some recent commentary:

  • Kaw and Border:  “JCCC Intimidating Whistleblower Trustee”
    • the JCCC Board of Trustees, where recently-defeated Trustee Ben Hodge has been ripped apart by his fellow board members and Steve Rose, simply for being what amounts to a whistleblower to “absolute power” tactics that often occur when a board is controlled nearly unanimously by one political party — in this case, the Johnson County Oligarchy.
  • All Things Joco, Tracy Thomas
  • Christopher Berger:  “Who Watches the Watchmen?”
    • What particularly disturbs me about this incident, however, is not the possible KOMA violation but the reaction of the officers of the board to it. After a long chain of attempts to silence Hodge, including the board’s attorney Mark Ferguson conducting a sham review of the incident and finding nothing there (though he didn’t bother mentioning his investigation to Hodge) they have now threatened a defamation lawsuit if he doesn’t shut. The suit itself would be specious; to support a claim of defamation, Ferguson would have to be able to prove false the charge of unethical behavior, something which seems absurd on its face, and prove that Hodge’s charges were intentionally and maliciously false. Whatever their problems with Hodge, Calaway’s and VanArsdale’s very public condemnation of his actions under a reasonable interpretation of the law in the face of their own failings leaves one wondering under what rubric they account their behavior in this matter as ethical, and this threatened lawsuit does nothing but further the point with its obvious speciousness.

JCCC’s Arrogance and Wednesday’s Tea Parties: Christopher Berger

Monday, April 20th, 2009

Who Watches the Watchmen?

Christopher D. Berger
UnvarnishedOpinion.com
KansasProgress.com

Wednesday’s tax day tea parties had a cause mirroring those of the original Boston tea party, to whit, a government so invasive and unwieldy that it can perpetrate generational theft on the order of tens of trillions of dollars, with no one to stop them. They were there to demonstrate against the ability of government to tax our grandchildren into oblivion, and more importantly, the fact that government is effectively doing it with mind-numbingly large spending packages. They were there to protest taxation with representation that doesn’t listen to them, representation that doesn’t represent their interests, taxation that they don’t want, don’t need, and will be forced to pay anyway. (more…)

For Lynn Mitchelson and Shirley Brown-VanArsdale, the cover-up is worse than the crime

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

Johnson County Community College elected leaders Lynn Mitchelson (Mission Woods) and Shirley Brown-VanArsdale (Gardner) broke the law.  That’s not merely the opinion of the taxpayers who have followed recent events at JCCC — that’s according to JCCC attorney Mark Ferguson.  In an Email sent late December 2008 to the entire board and JCCC President Terry Calaway, Ferguson confirmed that four board members — Lynn Mitchelson, Shirley Brown-VanArsdale, Jon Stewart, and Don Weiss — had violated the Kansas Open Meetings Act (KOMA, for short) by agreeing in private to the contents of a letter to the editor that was published in The Kansas City Star on December 10, 2008.  The letter’s topic was whether JCCC would be increasing the property tax mill levy.  The letter was political in nature, and it discussed college business, and it therefore fell under the guidelines of KOMA.

In an effort of good will, Hodge in December chose not to make public the embarrassing fact of the ignorance of Mitchelson and Brown-VanArsdale toward Kansas laws.

Lynn Mitchelson

Shirley Brown-VanArsdale

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