Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2007 Is ex-school chief resorting to extortion? Previous Next
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Username: Paulmcall

Post Number: 114
Registered: 05-2004
Posted on Tuesday, May 08, 2007 - 1:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Gee, if I get fired, can I dig up some dirt and get my job back?"
I wonder if that is what is going through Coleman's mind.
The timing is interesting too.
Any thoughts?
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Username: Swingline

Post Number: 805
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Tuesday, May 08, 2007 - 4:38 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The answer to your question is yes. The Detroit school board members may or may not be the most competent and effective leaders, but they are not stupid enough to fire someone because that person reported a potential multi-million dollar contract problem to law enforcement officials. Whistleblower acts require a causal connection between a report of misconduct to law enforcement and the dismissal of the person making the report. Where is that connection going to come from in this case?

A national search for Dr. Coleman's successor was already underway when he discovered the financial problem. In other words, they were looking to get rid of him already. Given the judgment he has has exhibited in filing this lawsuit, it looks like the Board made the right choice in booting his ass.

Does he have a smoking gun memo or audiotape? Highly unlikely. And he'll have to prove improper intent on the part of a majority of each of the individual board members. It's not sufficient to simply prove that he got fired after he made the report. That doesn't prove his case. An argument of post hoc ergo propter hoc won't cut it. Unfortunately, the DPS will probably have to spend six figures before it can get the case dismissed.

These kinds of lawsuits suck. It is extortion plain and simple.
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Username: Southwestmap

Post Number: 811
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Tuesday, May 08, 2007 - 4:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Well here's what John Bennett is reporting about this and he doesn't think its a case of extortion (Metro Times says that his is the best political blog in Detroit):

"$..Millions Missing ?
Soon you may hear of the storm raging around Detroit Public Schools and the issue of what happen to a reported $12 millon of the districts money and who has it.

Here's the background:
We reported to you before that current Chief Financial Officer Dori Freelain is under investigation for wire transfers of DPS funds to contractors and vendors and the misuse of a school system debit card. The investigation on Freelain was undertaken by former General Superintendent William Coleman who was terminated and is now suing the district under the Whistle-Blowers Protection Act. Freelain, was placed on leave by Coleman after he discovered the discrepancies. Before being placed on leave by Coleman someone in Freelain's office allegedly wire transferred upwards of $12 million from DPS to the City of Detroit's finance department headed by Roger Short. It's possible when the evidence of Coleman's lawsuit is fully known we may find that he became aware of this which further lead to his quick exodus from the General Superintendent's post. Somebody wants to cover up the fraud and embezzlement apparently."

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