TPS Says E-Mails Taken Out Of Context

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Updated: 5/14/2010 9:21 pm Published: 5/13/2010 5:06 pm

A Tulsa Public Schools attorney who made scathing remarks in an e-mail is now giving his response.

 The remarks were made about a Skelly Elementary counselor who warned the principal about an assistant principal now charged with sex crimes against children.

In a search warrant affidavit Tulsa Police Child Crisis Unit detectives are looking for e-mails and documents referring to the Skelly Counselor.

She’s the employee who reported her suspicions about Robert Yerton to the Principal in October 2009 and she was also given a written in April after police launched an investigation.

According to the affidavit, TPS Attorney Doug Mann who dealt with the matter is blaming police who says violated attorney/client privilege.

On May 6th, 2010 after the counselor refuted her written warning, the search warrant affidavit states Mann e-mailed Skelly Principal Katy Ackley and Elementary Superintendent Millard House on how to refute her rebuttal ,

"I would like for you both to sit down together and spend as long as it takes to go through (the counselor's) rebuttal, literally line-by-line and word-by-word and you create a rebuttal to every bit of it. Your rebuttal should be as detailed as necessary to get across the point that she is a big liar."

Today FOX23 obtained a statement from Mann who says police took his e-mail out of context,

"I was merely advising my clients that they should challenge those false statements in writing for the District's internal and confidential records..."

"...This clear directive to the client was for the relevant administrators to not stand idly by in the face of false statements made by an employee and to rebut everything that the employee said that they knew to be wrong."

Mann further clarified that he was suggesting if the two administrators believed the counselor was lying then they (administrators) needed to make it clear in their rebuttal that she was making false statements.

Mann also recommends TPD release the “rebuttal to rebuttal” because the school cannot legally release those documents.

Police are still investigating the personnel records and have not ruled out what will and will not be made public.

Tulsa Public Schools says when the alleged abuse was reported on two different occasions it did not believe it was criminal in nature. The third report is under investigation. Oklahoma Law requires any suspicion to be reported to police or DHS.

Yerton is out on $150,000 bond.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

MsBlack - 5/17/2010 11:15 PM
0 Votes
TPS is going to do what it feels it has to...deny and deter liability. What else is expected? Does anyone really expect to hear a statement from TPS saying that they knew of the allegations and did not abide by state law? Ofcourse not! Nor will TPS use this incident to teach students about inappropriate physical contact..but ofcourse they will continue to teach students sexual education. Who is to blame for this issue? All adults who were aware and chose to ignore are to blame. TPS claims to prioritize our children's safety...from who? They will quickly contact TPD and DHS if a child is left too long after school by a parent. Yet they will not contact either if employees are accused of inappropriate conduct with students. I believe that when it comes to disciplinary actions against TPS staff an independent committee should be formed to oversee the disciplinary procedures and investigations. The committee should consist of representatives of TPD, DHS, parents, attorneys, and medical (preferably child psychology). They should be a group of independent parties who are paid by the state to oversee disciplinary actions against Public School employees and verify that all actions taken are fair and abide by district and state policy and law.

fxstsb - 5/14/2010 10:47 AM
2 Votes
more of the same from TPS . . . what about letting the students know what is going on and providing them with some positive learning skills to recognize and address child abuse . . .
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