The Examiner writes a story about a conflict of interest at BISD. Then, the spokeswoman of the ENTIRE DISTRICT sends out an email to ALL BISD employees and the media (see below). The Bayou rips it apart as well.
Email from the spokeswoman, we did not alter the spelling or grammar on this. I have a lot of opinions about the allegations made by her, but I'd like to hear what you all have to say:
From: Jessie Haynes
Sent: Friday, November 13, 2009 9:47 AM
Subject: Examiner's article today insinuating inappropriate relationships
On today, the Examiner Newspaper featured me on its front page. (Please don't spend a dime on the crap, just log on to their site if you must read it.) In any case, I believe it is my duty to share with you the facts. Here is an email that I did not send the reporter because I was in and out of grogginess while home trying to recuperate from an illness. However, I will share it with you and the media at large for you to have in the face of what I consider to be yellow journalism.
Nov. 11, 2009
On yesterday, you awakened me at my home where I am recuperating from an illness. Silly me, I thought, mmm, isn't that nice, Jerry came by to check on me and to wish me a speedy recovery. Then you accused me of a range of unethical acts. Shocked, I did learn one thing of which I was not aware-that my name is listed on the board of directors for the nonprofit Southeast Texas Electrical School formed by Calvin Walker to help the disenfranchised gain entrée and opportunities in the electric trades. (Obviously, the school is something quite needed in SE Texas when looking at the fact that women or minorities make up less than one percent of electricians in SE Texas.)
First, while I was not aware that I am listed as a board member of this non-profit school being established in the Southend of Beaumont, I have no problem being affiliated with a non-profit designed to help bring about equal opportunities for women and minorities. (Mind you, that does not mean those opportunities are at the detriment of men or non-minoirites.) Some time ago, Mr. Walker asked me to consider being on the board of the school and I said I would think about it. Upon thinking about it, I decided that some people could take my appearance on the board of this non-profit school as opportunity to misconstrue his business relationship with BISD.
Mr. Walker understood and directed the person preparing the school's application to remove my name. Unfortunately, the person preparing the application suffered a catastrophic illness and when she returned months later to complete the application, I can only assume that as an oversight, she erred in what she submitted. Mr. Walker assures me that will be corrected immediately. In any case, I have not been an active member of the non-profit school's board, but know that I have no problem (with the exception of you attempting to misconstrue facts) in the purpose of the school that has been set up to help the disenfranchised gain entrée into careers where they have been denied opportunities. (Really, based on your assumptions, because I am a public employee, I now have to withdraw my membership from my church, from professional and civic organizations, from all volunteer non-profit boards just in case any of their affiliates submit responses to competitive public bids at BISD, despite me not having anything to do with the bid process. Get real.)
On the question of the appropriateness of me being a member of the superintendent's executive cabinet and the insinuation that I have influenced business opportunities with the school district for Mr. Walker is so far off the reality chart that I can only revert back to your continued efforts to attack Dr. Thomas and anyone near him. I visualize you jumping up out of the bushes and nearly scaring his elderly mother to death as your camera flashed lights repeatedly blinding her during a private gathering held at his home. Your visit to my home reminded me of that and while I am still home sick, I am less medicated and more able today to answer your wild accusations.
1. I make no decisions in relationship to contracts, especially electrical and other operations outside of communications/public information/public relations.
2. You insulted me and the district by insinuating that information is being leaked to Mr. Walker. When I reminded you that the bid process in BISD is a closed bid process and that I have every faith that CFO Jane Kingsley and COO Terry Ingram would not allow any such thing happen, neither by omission or comission.
3. You insulted Dr. Thomas by saying I have influenced him to unfairly provide contract opportunities to minority businesses, particularly to Walker's Electric. While I am flattered that you think I have such powers, you and I both know that Dr. Thomas is not such a person. One of the reasons that I accepted the opportunity to work with him is because I see him as a fair man who strives for doing right by ALL people. Frankly, I knew that working for him would be putting myself in harm's way since
you and your organization have continuously targeted African American leaders who are in positions of power and influence. The fact that Dr. Thomas is at the helm of an operation that includes multi-billion dollars worth of assets, more than 3,000 employees and millions of dollars in annual operations has made him the target of people who usually control Jefferson County and who have found he is not their "boy."Me working for him makes me your target, too, as was Dr. Mackey and many others over the years of your paper's existence. These are my opinions developed from seeing 70 percent of your covers being an attack on people of color.
Wouldn't you think that as large as your market reach claims to be and the fact that less than 10 percent of the business operations in SE Texas are not minority led, your cover stories would more fairly project what is really going on in this community? One would hope, however, this community has watched you overlook friends of your paper who are in high places who molest children, steal and kill get swept under the rug while you try to make demons out of people like Carrol Thomas and anyone you consider close to him. You totally ignore the fact that BISD is achieving at levels higher than comparable school districts in this state, that BISD is a recognized school district, that employee moral is high, that the district consistently receives superior ratings for its financial acumen, that we have schools that are outstanding on both the state and national level.
4. You went on to claim some crap about Calvin Walker. I suggest you talk with him about whatever your concerns are about him. I personally believe he is above board and has given the district some of the best prices we have had in years. However, I am sure you are not interested in that fact which you can clearly get by asking for a 10-year history of the rates of contractors of record for electrical services in BISD.
5. You asked about my writing an article that ran in CUSH Magazine about Calvin Walker. The article to which you referred is a news release noting his donation to Ozen High. You, CUSH and all other media received the release. You chose not to run it. That is your business. CUSH chose to run it and that is the business of CUSH. If you want to know something about CUSH's daily operations, you are free to contact Tracie Payne at 212-1111. I am sure she will make herself available to answer any questions you may have.
6. Why am I on your list? Many thoughts cross my mind. Could it be your expressed interest in getting the job I now hold in BISD or getting the post I use to hold in BISD? Could it be the write-in campaign placing me in competition for the position against your boss for the presidency of the Press Club? Could it be you thought that since I may be aware of your reports of your involvement in an unethical situation with a judge handling a relevant case, you would slam me before the facts are made public? Could it be your thought that since you can't get Carrol Thomas, you'd get one of the persons on which he depends? Or, could it be your true colors coming out,
despite a hood and sheet not being your cover, your defacto efforts appear to me to be to tar, feather and hang any person you can who is trying to bring about equal opportunity in this community? Go figure???
Jessie Haynes, APR