October 29, 2006

Shame the Devil

Truste me, I'm a reporter.

So the Board finally acknowledged what I've known all along -- that there were other victims.
Too bad it took the threat of me re-launching my investigation to get them to admit it.
But if they think this admission will stop me from getting at the truth, they don't know Miguel.

October 25, 2006

BOARD STATEMENT: There Were Other Victims

Following the regular monthly meeting of the Johnson County Community College board of trustees Oct. 19, the JCCC board met for more than four hours in executive session with Betsy Badger and Theresa Levings.
At the end of the session, the board voted 4-1 (Lynn Mitchelson, Jon Stewart, Virginia Krebs and Ben Hodge voted "Yes." Shirley Brown-Van Arsdale was absent. Elaine Perilla voted "No") to release the following statement:
STATEMENT FROM THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

The Board is grateful for the voluntary participation of so many in the recent independent review. The review process was designed to encourage open communication during interviews so that the Board could learn the concerns of JCCC employees, take corrective action where needed and move the college forward. We appreciate the efforts of the many people who assisted in achieving this.
Now that the investigative portion of the review has concluded, the Board wants to reiterate its commitment to protect the identity of the persons who participated in the review and to keep personnel matters as private as possible.
The Board does not want to betray those who participated in the review by revealing their names or the personnel matters they reported, but the Board is listening to what they had to say.
The Board also remains firm in its resolve that there will be no retaliation against those who came forward in good faith to participate in the review.
Concerning Ms. Lee’s public allegation that she gave her written narrative in 2004 to Elaine Perilla and told Ms. Perilla then about her allegations against Dr. Carlsen, Ms. Lee and Ms. Perilla disagree about whether these events occurred.
Ms. Lee did not claim that any other Board member had knowledge of her claims, and the five other Board members state that they had no such knowledge.
Any Board member is free to make a public comment about his or her personal knowledge on this subject.
The Board also wants to address questions about the cost of the review.
The 12-page report released to the public is the only written report and represents only a small part of the work done.
As the report states, Badger & Levings’ engagement included “legal analysis, advice and review of other personnel and policy matters.”
Some of the matters that are not included in the 12-page report are details of allegations by other women regarding Dr. Carlsen.
A few women interviewed during the review said that at various times during the approximate period of the late 1990s to early 2005 Dr. Carlsen touched them in a manner similar to that alleged by Teresa Lee.
They said that they concluded that the conduct was not inadvertent or accidental because it was repeated.
A few other women confirmed what they called inappropriate conduct by Carlsen during this same time period but declined to specifically describe the conduct or answer other specific questions about it.
Some of those interviewed provided second-hand information about other women believed to have been the object of inappropriate conduct by Carlsen.
Three of the women identified denied any improper conduct by Dr. Carlsen toward them.
One declined to speak with Badger & Levings, and Badger & Levings was not able to obtain more information about the others.
In addition, another woman said that there were times when Dr. Carlsen stood behind her while she was at her computer and that when he reached over her toward the computer, his arm touched her breast.
Another woman said that she specifically remembered two occasions where Dr. Carlsen stood too close to her and that, upon learning of Ms. Lee’s allegations in early 2004, the woman thereafter avoided being in situations where he could get close to her.
Another woman said Dr. Carlsen gave her a hug on one occasion that was too close and too long. She said she moved back from Dr. Carlsen because he had made her uncomfortable.
Dr. Carlsen cancelled a scheduled interview and ended his participation in the review before Badger & Levings had the chance to ask him about these other allegations.
All these women reported that the conduct occurred during their employment at JCCC.
Their allegations had never been reported to the college under the college procedure or as a legal claim against the college.
Some said they were willing to disclose their own experiences because they did not want Lee to be, as one said, “out there by herself.”
The Board sincerely regrets that it learned about these serious allegations so long after the time the conduct is alleged to have occurred.
Furthermore, the Board is fully committed to supporting the administration in addressing any issues which negatively affect the college’s working or learning environment.
While some may want to know more about the review, the Board is determined to keep details about personnel matters and the identity of those who reported about them as private as possible.
The Board has spent many hours meeting with Badger & Levings during and after the review and will continue to meet with them for as long as it takes to identify any issues that need to be addressed.
Dr. Tyree is an active participant in that process and the Board is grateful for his counsel and the wisdom of his experience.
While this effort required substantial human and monetary resources, we believe the investment is justified and will continue to have value for years to come.

October 24, 2006

THE CAMPUS LEDGER: Letter to the Community

This editorial was originally published in The Campus Ledger Oct. 19
Walking on the Ledge:I take it all back

by Miguel M. Morales

After quickly reading the 12-page report from Betsy Badger of Badger & Levings, LLC., into the allegations of unlawful harassment by former president Charles Carlsen, I knew I had to take it back.
I reread my story. I reviewed my notes and documentation. I again listened to my recorded interviews. I even revisited the letters Badger sent in May and July asking for those with information to come forward.
All that documentation convinced me to do something I should have done a long time ago -- take it all back.
So after a discussion with the staff of The Campus Ledger, here’s my letter to the community.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

With the authorization from The Campus Ledger I will re-open the investigation into unlawful harassment against former president Charles Carlsen.
Nineteen months ago, we began an investigation into the allegations of unlawful harassment against Carlsen.
The result, published April 13 in The Ledger, launched another four-month investigation costing almost $400,000.
Many who cooperated with Betsy Badger of Badger & Levings, LLC., who the Board of Trustees named as independent investigator have contacted The Ledger saying they felt betrayed.
According to the report, many of you came forward and some provided documentation at your own risk.
“Many we interviewed also said they were reluctant to talk to us because they feared the Board would learn who had made a negative comment about Carlsen or the college. We did not promise anonymity or confidentiality to anyone,” the report reads.
The report also goes on to say the investigators would reveal identities and other information at the board’s request.
Our investigation will offer what Badger’s could not -- confidentiality.
By offering this, we place ourselves at great risk because Kansas does not have a Shield Law to protect journalists from being forced to reveal their sources.
However, The Ledger staff has made this commitment.
Our risk will honor the risk you take in coming forward.
While Badger’s report confirms our original story, it also cites rumor and speculation.
“It appears that Lee enabled the release …”
“One person told us that a Ledger representative stated …”
Another misconception is that The Ledger refused to participate in the investigation.
Not true.
Investigators never asked for information from The Ledger.
In fact, I had to approach the investigators to ask why we had not been contacted.
Badger said she did not want to contact us because she knew I’d want to write about it.
That is far different from what appears in her report.
“We did not ask the Ledger how it obtained Lee’s typewritten narrative because representatives of the Ledger did not agree to speak with us off the record.”
Our report will investigate the culture of fear that, according to many, allowed the incident to happen.
Our report will talk to experts in the field.
Our report will reveal the names of publicly elected officials and their role in the incident.
Our report will reveal what Badger’s report did not.
We need those who participated in the investigation to contact us.
We also need those who did not participate.
I promise to protect you.
We just need to get at the truth.

Thank you
For your protection, do not make contact by using a JCCC e-mail address. Contact Miguel Morales at latinoreporter [[at]] gmail [[dot]] com or Send documentation to:
P. O. Box 4635
Olathe, KS. 66063

THE CAMPUS LEDGER: Campus Smackdown!

This article was originally published in The Campus Ledger Oct. 19
Trustees in Trouble
Faculty Association call for action against Screening Committee co-chairs

by Miguel M. Morales

The Faculty Association has called for action against two of the college’s trustees.
The general membership of Faculty Association announced it will call for a vote of No Confidence in Elaine Perilla, trustee.
“The faculty of Johnson County Community College hereby declares that at the present time it has no confidence in Elaine Perilla as a member of the Johnson County Community College Board of Trustees,” the ballot reads.
The general membership also voted to call for the Board of Trustees to censure Ben Hodge, trustee.
“We call on the Johnson County Board of Trustees to censure Trustee Benjamin Hodge for violations of the JCCC Board of Trustees Code of Conduct (Board of Trustees Bylaws, section 114),” reads a press release from the Faculty Association.


"I have a First amendment right to voice my opinion. This is typical of liberals who talk about the First Amendment until you disagree with them.”
Ben Hodge, trustee


“This is moral suasion,” said Vin Clark, professor of History and president of the Faculty Association, acknowledging that the association’s call for action lacks teeth.
“It’s an element of democracy,” he said. “It’s part of traditional academic involvement in collegiate life.”
Clark said he transmitted the resolutions to trustees on behalf of the association and expects to make a statement at the monthly Board of Trustee meeting Oct. 19.
The association’s executive council also voted on a statement of cooperation with board and community in finding and hiring the best possible candidate as permanent president.
The statement says the lack of confidence in Perilla “need not be permanent and hoped that she would take action to restore confidence in her leadership.”
Clark said he hopes that the impaired relations with Perilla and Hodge will be temporary.

Elaine Perilla
The call for the no vote of confidence in Perilla comes a month after the board of trustees released a 12-page investigative report into the allegations of unlawful harassment against former president Charles Carlsen.
Last April, The Campus Ledger published an article describing that Perilla received a 22-page account documenting Carlsen’s alleged harassment of Teresa Lee, manager of Human Resources.
Lee’s narrative, dated Sept. 14, 2005, describes the interaction with Perilla.
“I spoke with Elaine today to ask if she had had a chance to review the documentation I had given her. She said she had,” Lee wrote. “I asked her if she had any questions. She said she did not and that she doesn’t doubt that it is true.”
Lee further described how Susan Lindahl, vice president of College Information and Strategic Initiatives, commented on Perilla’s knowledge of the allegations.
“I spoke with Susan after work, via phone, and voiced my concern,” she wrote. “She said that at least Elaine knows about it so that if Carlsen says he wants to retire, she won’t talk him out of it."
The investigative report which has cost the college almost $400,000 failed to mention Perilla.

"This is moral suasion."
Vin Clark, president of the Faculty Association


The Faculty Association also alleges that Perilla uses her position to influence and intimidate employees.
According to the Faculty Association voting will take place using ballot boxes and paper ballots.
The college declined to let the association use its electronic voting system until the college attorney approved.
“Although the Association maintains its rights to use this system, the Executive Council believed that delay in voting was inadvisable,” Clark said. “It therefore decided to employ the traditional procedure.”
The explanation on the ballot for the vote reads:

“Elaine Perilla has forfeited the trust of the college community by a series of actions and failures to act, which have been instrumental in creating an atmosphere of secrecy, intimidation, and fear throughout the college.”

The vote will take place Oct. 23-26.
The Ledger attempted to contact Perilla. She did not return phone calls up to press time.

Ben Hodge
While the Board of Trustees can employ censure using board policy 114.03, there is no consequence to the action.
“The board of trustees may, after investigation and upon the adoption of written findings of fact, adopt, by majority vote, a resolution of censure with respect to any trustee who violates the provisions of the Board's Code of Conduct or Code of Ethics,” the policy reads.
The Faculty Association contends that Hodge did violate the Code of Conduct.
“At the September 27 meeting, Hodge referred to the 22 people who had previously spoken before members of the presidential screening committee, saying, ‘I wish they were all genuine. I cannot say that I am confident of that,’” Clark said.
Hodge said he finds the call for censure unprofessional.
“I have a First amendment right to voice my opinion,” he said. “This is typical of liberals who talk about the First Amendment until you disagree with them.”
Hodge said he has contacted a lawyer about the legality of the board’s code of ethics.
“I’m reviewing it to see if the policy is unconstitutional,” he said.
Hodge said the heart of the matter comes to the Screening Committee.
The call to slow down the search process is an attempt by the Faculty Association to interrupt the process because members didn’t get their way, he said.
“Vin Clark wants to be exclusive,” Hodge said. “These calls to slow the process didn’t occur until late September.
“I find it hypocritical. It’s perfectly legal.”
Of Perilla, Hodge said the call for her to step down as board chair should have come earlier.
“She was president for too long,” he said.

Screening Committee Response

Both Perilla and Hodge co-chair the JCCC New President Screening Committee.
The committee has faced internal and external challenges to its charge.
During several open forums, members of the campus community asked that committee slow down the search process and immediately hire interim president Larry Tyree as the short-term permanent president.
The entire Search Committee became aware of these pleas at its first meeting and open forum, Sept. 25.

“These two people already have an idea of what they want in a president and are trying to convince the rest of us.”
Phillip Newton, student senator


John Hanysz, administrative assistant in Student Services and Screening Committee representative, said it is too soon to determine what the call for action by the Faculty Association will have on the committee.
However he said he will start taking a different approach.
“I will definitely speak up from now on when matters call for me to do so,” he said. “I’m not going to be intimidated anymore by the people or the process.”
Philip Newton, student senator and student representative on the committee, said the Faculty Association’s actions will have “a big effect.”
He said these actions will allow Screening Committee members to openly question the motives and actions of the co-chairs.
“These two people already have an idea of what they want in a president and are trying to convince the rest of us,” he said.
Newton also said he expects the contention between committee members and the co-chairs to escalate by the next Screening Committee meeting in Nov. 13.
Contact Miguel M. Morales, news editor, at mmorales@jccc.edu

October 17, 2006

Buck's Lessons Worth Millions

I'm thankful for not reading headlines like, "The Buck Stops Here," or "Passing the Buck" concerning the loss of Buck O' Neil.
Buck was really an ambassador not only for baseball -- the likes no one has seen in years -- but he was an ambassador for Kansas City.
Try to think of famous people associated with KC.
There's that jazz guy, Bird, whose death was hastened by drug and alcohol addiction ... Who else?
KC tried to claim Hemmingway but he never really contributed to the city. They also try to claim Walt Disney but that's really reaching. And off the top of my head I can't think of anyone nationally or internationally known who comes from KC.
Buck was really our only celebrity.
There's a lot of lessons to take from his life that our city will probably ignore.
He was so dignified when he was passed over for the hall of fame.
He represented diversity in a city that is soooo racially divided.
I'm also sure there were times that the only reason people went to see the Royals was when Buck was there.
I mean just the fact that a non-sports gay guy like me not only knows who Buck is but respected him means that his influence really surpassed sports.
If all people remember is that he was a Negro League player, then they really didn't know Buck at all.

October 15, 2006

Grievance: Round I

Dorothy Friedrich, vice president of Human Resources, denied a grievance I filled last April.
I filed it because as I was reporting the Carlsen story, Mark Ferguson,
the Board's attorney, and Susan Lindahl, vice president of College Information and Community Relations came to the library where I work as a part-time employee.
They had me leave my post and then they proceeded to grill me about what I knew of the allegations.
Ferguson asked me if I had a lawyer and made what I believe were other attempts to intimidate me into not writing the story.
My job in the library had nothing to do with my job as a reporter for The Campus Ledger. But that didn't stop either of them from abusing their power to protect Carlsen.
Incidentally, both Friedrich and Lindahl admitted knowing of the allegations of unlawful harassment against Carlsen. They also admitted doing nothing about it.
Read about my grievance
here in The Johnson County Sun.

October 10, 2006

THE CAMPUS LEDGER: Stop the Search

This staff editorial was originally published in The Campus Ledger Sept. 28
Letter to the Board of Trustees
EDITORIAL BOARD NOTE: The Ledger has prepared this letter for those involved in the campus community to petition the board. We urge readers to tear this page out and deliver it to the president’s office in GEB 112 in person or via interoffice mail (Box 1) or through the US Postal Service.
Board of Trustees:
We call on you, as our elected representatives, to name Larry Tyree president of Johnson County Community College immediately.
We call for an immediate suspension on the search for a permanent president.
We also call on an inquiry into controversy regarding the composition of the Screening Committee as made public by the Faculty Association during the Sept. 21 Board of Trustee meeting.
Later in the meeting, Elaine Perilla, trustee, described how she picked the members of the Screening Committee.
However she omitted that the JCCC Foundation has four individuals involved in the committee making it the largest represented body from any division. Foundation board members include Jill Gerlach who represents the JCCC Foundation; Kansas Senator Nick Jordan; Sam Turner of Shawnee Mission Medical Center; and the college’s attorney, Mark Ferguson of Lathrop & Gage.

Before trustees approved the members of the Screening Committee, committee members already received letters discussing their charge. However, these letters did not come in JCCC envelopes but in envelopes from Perilla’s organization, the Volunteer Center of Johnson County.
Given Perilla’s refusal to offer full disclosure and the unprofessional overlaps between her various community roles, we call for Perilla to step down from the Screening Committee.
We also call for Benjamin Hodge to step down.
Hodge’s political grandstanding and confrontational behavior during public forums and open meetings incites hostility and divides our newly unified campus.
The board previously announced that a permanent vice president of Student Services position would not be filled until we hired a permanent president. The surprise appointment of Dennis Day, who served as interim in that position, demonstrates the board’s ability to offer Tyree the presidency immediately.
The unanimous clamor for Tyree surfaced at the Sept. 25 open forum and it continues with a flood of e-mail messages.
Trustees will betray the democratic process that elected them should they deny these pleas.

Lets face it, Tyree’s resume and actions would have earned him this job had Carlsen retired under normal circumstances.
With the current tension between the board and faculty, staff and students, the board must understand that we already have a president.
Sincerely,


A member of the JCCC campus community

THE CAMPUS LEDGER: Report Released

Campus reacts to Badger’s report

Many question the report’s validity due to unanswered questions

by Miguel M. Morales

Terese Lee, manager of Human Resources, said she never should have participated in the independent investigation.
“Originally, I wasn’t even going to participate in the ‘investigation,’” she said.

"I had no confidence in the process."
Teresa Lee, manager of Human Resources
Lee said she felt it wouldn’t matter what she had to say because certain individuals under investigation regularly attended closed Executive Sessions.
“I had no confidence in the process,” Lee said. She also said many people who participated in the investigation offered her feedback. Lee was pleased with the questions Badger asked and consented to the interview.
Lee attended the Board of Trustees meeting Sept. 21 to receive her own copy of Badger’s report.
After reviewing the report, Lee said crucial information individuals provided concerning the allegations never came to light.
“I guess I should have gone with my initial instinct -- but at least I tried,” she said. Lee comments those who came forward.
“The courage you have is to be commended,” she said.

The Report
As of noon, Sept 27 the report had been accessed 1,425 times, according to College Information.
The Board of Trustees accepted and released the report Aug. 21 during its monthly meeting with the college simultaneously posting it online.
The report commissioned buy the Board of Trustees in May investigated the public allegations of sexual harassment against former president Charles Carlsen.
Arriving late for the meeting, Badger offered only one statement.
“Thank you for the opportunity to deliver the report tonight,” she said prior to distributing the report to trustees.
Three minutes later she was gone.
The 12-page report costing over $377,000 described accounts originally published in The Campus Ledger, April 13.
The report, as cited in its introduction, lists three primary tasks. First, Badger was to review, provide legal analysis and advice about matters related to Lee’s allegations against Carlsen. Second she was to communicate with and provide analysis and legal advice to representatives of the Board of Trustees about the allegation. Third, she was to review and provide legal advice and analysis “of other personnel and policy matters not included here.”
According to Badger’s report Carlsen refused to continue cooperating with the investigation that month.
“On July 13, 2006, Carlsen suspended his participation in our review and cancelled a scheduled second interview with us on advice from his legal counsel.”
This came in contrast to his April 13, statement announcing his leave of absence.
“Be assured I am intensely interested in clearing the air on this matter and that just as I am comfortable with my professional conduct, I do pledge my full cooperation in the independent analysis that I am asking to be commissioned by the board.”

The Reaction
While campus reaction varied from what some on the campus listserve called “the Badger leaflet” to a call for replacing trustees up for reelection in the spring.
Others said the board reneged on its promise.
“It’s a promise the board made to the public who paid for the report,” said Eileen O’Neill, administrative assistant in the Carlsen Center.
The Ledger submitted a Kansas Open Records Act request for additional information on the report. The board’s attorney, Mark Ferguson of Lathrop & Gage, denied the request citing that “these records represent and constitute the work product of an attorney.”
“I just don’t see how this institution can possibly ever recover,” O’niell said. “Our integrity is being called into question. Where are the checks and balances if the board isn’t going to be public with that information?”
Mike Martin, professor of Mathematics and vice president of the Faculty Association, questioned the omission of trustee Elaine Perilla’s name in the report.
“At the board meeting it was said that all previous published allegations would be addressed by the Badger report, yet those allegations involving the board members’ knowledge were not addressed,” he wrote in a letter to trustees the next day. “The allegations directly involve Elaine Perilla, co-chair of the screening committee, and resolving her level of involvement would allow the screening committee to more effectively do its work.”
Martin also said like others on campus, he is pledged to the college.
“But it pains me to do so in this environment,” he wrote. “I know the faculty will be suspect as this goes forward and that is healthy for no one. Can this be quickly resolved? It was my anticipation that it would have been done so by now.

“Our integrity is being called into question.”
Eileen O’Neill, administrative assistant, Carlsen Center

Lawrence Tyree even weighed in on the subject in a campus wide email and voice mail message.
“As you know, last night the JCCC board of trustees received the written results of an independent review of recent events at the college,” he said. “Maybe they weren’t what we expected, but I think we can still learn from them and especially from future communication with the attorneys.”
Tyree said he’s convinced the board will work with faculty and staff to make the necessary and appropriate changes.
He also thanked the campus community for continuing their charge.
“Let me express my gratitude for the fine job that each and every one of you are doing in taking care of the heart of this college – our students,” he said. “In this time of trouble, classes were never disrupted. You kept teaching and working with students, and most importantly – students kept learning. For that I’m very grateful to each and every one of you. I look forward to continuing working with you as long as I am privileged to be here at Johnson County Community College."

THE CAMPUS LEDGER: Badger Update

This article was originally published in The Campus Ledger, Sept. 14, 2006
Costs for presidential scandal surpass $600,000
Independent review costs time, money, patience
by Miguel M. Morales

Badger & Levings bill for the yet to be delivered report on the “the public allegation involving Dr. Carlsen” exceeds $342,880.
The Board of Trustees hired Betsy Badger’s law firm May 4.
The bill for Corporate Communications Group, a Kansas public relations firm hired by the board, grew to $54,554 and Carlsen’s voluntary retirement cost the college $234,430.
As of press time, The Ledger could not obtain fees from the law firms of Lathrop & Gage and Shook, Hardy & Bacon.

The Money

So far the grand total for the presidential scandal comes to $631,864.
How much is that?
According to the newly lowered mill levy, 2,697 Johnson County homeowners must pay in taxes on their homes (valued at $229,934, paying $234.29).
It could also provide 836 tuition-only scholarships for fulltime students (12 hours @ $63 per credit hour = $756).
During the Board of Trustees meeting May 4, Lynn Mitchelson, trustee, questioned Badger about the potential cost of the investigation.
Badger said at that point the final cost is unknown.
“Mr. Ferguson [the board’s attorney] emphasized when we talked to him that you were stewards of this money,” Badger said. “We certainly have no problem with that -- all of our clients feel that way.”
Theresa Levings, also an attorney of Badger & Levings, has assisted Badger in the investigation.
According to Badger’s acceptance and confirmation of terms letter, both lawyers bill the college at $250 per hour each. The letter also states the firm's other lawyers and staff may assist at rates ranging from $85 - $160 per hour.
"I don’t know anything about it."

Elaine Perilla, trustee
The Report
Badger told the Board of Trustees the investigation would take approximately 30 – 45 days placing the final report submission date in mid June 2006.
Despite being present when Badger presented monthly updates to the board in Executive Sessions, Elaine Perilla, trustee, denied knowledge of the report.
“I don’t know anything about it,” Perilla said.
Jon Stewart, trustee, said he did not know the exact date trustees will receive and subsequently release the report to the public.
“The target we thought we would have was the end of August,” Stewart said. “I think we should get it at anytime.”
Stewart said it may be presented at the next board of trustees meeting slated for Sept. 21.
“I don’t have any inside information on that,” he said.” I’m just hopeful we can hit it by then.”
Vincent Clark, professor of History and president of the Faculty Association, agrees with Stewart. “We basically hope the report is complete,” Clark said.
Stewart confirmed part of the delay in presenting the final report to the board came in response to a death in Badger’s family.
“I don’t know if there were other delays but that was certainly one,” he said. “I’d like to make sure that whatever we get is something that can help us put processes and procedures in place in the future that will make it a lot easier for people to come forward.”
The Timeline
April 17
Trustee meeting
– Perilla, as board chair, charges Ferguson with presenting candidates to serve as independent review.
April 26

Trustee meeting
– after an Executive Session, trustees release a document with two recommendations. The first calls for the immediate hiring of an independent reviewer to conduct a review of “the public allegation involving Dr. Carlsen.” The recommendation also calls for the independent reviewer to report results to the full Board of Trustees in Executive Session.
“The findings and recommendations will not be disclosed publicly in order to protect the confidentiality of personnel,” the document reads.
The second recommendation calls for hiring Betsy Badger of Badger & Levings, LLC.
April 28
– nine past presidents of the Faculty Association submit an e-mail letter to the Board of Trustees and the media. It calls for Perilla to “resign her chairmanship and excuse herself from any decision-making role in the Carlsen case.”
It also calls for the independent review findings to be made public.
Later that day Perilla and Mitchelson issue a joint media statement in response to the Faculty Association’s letter. The letter reaffirms the board’s intention to keep the results private.
“I believe this process is fair to the staff and responsive to the taxpayers,” the statement reads.

The Campus Ledger
reports Susan Lindahl, vice president College Relations and Strategic Initiatives, and Badger attend the same Overland Park church.
May 4

Trustee meeting
– Badger addresses conflicts of interest.
“I do attend Rolling Hills Presbyterian Church,” Badger said. “I am not a member of that church. I do sing in the choir. That was accurately reported.”
Badger also discloses that Brian Badger, associate professor of Information Technology, is her brother-in-law.
Trustees vote to sign Badger’s letter of acceptance and confirmation of terms. The letter states that communications between Badger, the firm and the board will fall under attorney-client privilege.
May 11
– the Faculty Association votes 208 - 20 to send a statement to the Board of Trustees. The statement calls on trustees to conduct a complete investigation, eliminate any possible appearance of conflict of interest and issue a complete public report.
July 13

Trustee meeting
– trustees hear an interim report from Badger.
Mitchelson reads the following statement: "The board received an update tonight about the progress of the review from our attorneys. Their work is nearing an end but is not yet complete. We hope to receive their report soon and learn from it and move the college forward. With assurances from legal counsel that the identities of persons interviewed during the investigation will be protected, it is the intention of the board to release the report of the review when it is received by the board."
Aug. 8

Trustee meeting
– trustees hear an interim report from Badger.

October 4, 2006

A Rose by Any Other Name Would Smell ...

Steve Rose, the Diva at the Johnson County Sun, has been weighing in on the Carlsen sexual harassment scandal. Everyone can have an opinion -- even a journalist. However, Rose is wrong about almost every aspect of the story.

As a writing coach, I suggest Rose enroll in the Advanced Reporting course JCCC offers. There he'd learn to accurately research and properly construct a column.

In his latest column, once you get past his giant Glamour Shot photo, Rose labels Carlsen's (alleged) actions as "misbehavior." Unfortunately for Rose (and Carlsen), the law disagrees. The "misbehavior" is called “unlawful harassment.” That's because it’s against the law. Specifically, it violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

On KCPT's "RUCKUS," Rose told viewers of his close connections to the board and assured them that trustees have released the full investigative report. Rose also said Elaine Perilla "denied emphatically" knowing of the allegations despite the fact that my article cites documents attesting that she knew and did nothing. Perilla's denial to Rose must have been in confidence as she has yet to make a public statement on the matter. But what do you expect? Trustees named the Johnson County Sun its official newspaper. Is this more cronyism from Perilla?

Full disclosure: I'm a past recipient of Rose's Rose Family Scholarship for journalism. I think I can probably expect to be denied a scholarship for spring 2007.

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