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October 26, 1993

The Conspiracy and the Assassination Attempt

by Dr. Doug Magann

[This is the ninth in a series on the Mobile County Public School System written by former superintendent Dr. Doug Magann.]

Over the summer of 1992, it became fairly clear that I had fallen into disfavor with the traditional Mobile power structure. The office phones stopped ringing and the "business" luncheon invitations stopped coming from these people. After July, I did not hear from the Chamber of Commerce, the Mayor, the members of the Delegation, the bankers (except to transact routine business), the Junior League, Mobile United or Forward Mobile.

In many respects, this development was welcomed. For the first time since coming to Mobile, I had time to do some critical and meaningful work with the staff. We began to make some progress toward developing a real budget for the system, put some sorely needed protocols in place, and had begun to coordinate the mish-mash of components in the instructional program. Further, I had some time to actually interview candidates for administrative leadership vacancies that existed throughout the district.

Until the referendum failed, I was of the opinion that the "deafening silence" from these quarters was related to the campaign. That is, I and others believed that the silence was in deference to my known feelings about the bill. Obviously, this was not the case. In retrospect, a decision had already been made about me and was being held in abeyance until the referendum occurred in order not to further rock the boat. Senator Steve Windom confirmed this on the night of the referendum when he produced a prepared statement blaming the defeat on me and renewing his call for my dismissal.

In July, School Board President Jeanne Andrews began to put some distance between us. She was cordial and courteous at meetings, but stopped dropping by for information updates as had been her routine. At first, I attributed this to demands on her time resulting from (1) trying to finish her degree program at The University of South Alabama and (2) the increasing tempo of the campaign activities and, to a lesser degree, to some developing conflict over the budget.

We were meeting two and three times a week on the budget and the Board was meeting nearly everyday for "mandatory transfer" hearings required by state law whenever a tenured teacher was to be reassigned. The revenue picture was pretty well set at that point and the Board had to decide what $3.5 million to cut in order to balance the budget. Actually, the budget had been balanced as early as June 18, but John Hope and the banking syndicate had sent Andrews a letter on July 2 notifying her that they were not going to loan the district the $4 million needed to make it through September. The bankers were being cute again. This time with the County Commission and, again, using the school system as the pawn. Receipt of the letter forced the Board to consider even more drastic cuts than it had already made.

On July 13, Andrews and school commissioner "Sugar" Warren came into the meeting with an agenda that no one understood - including the two women, I think. The banker's decision meant that substantially more teacher positions would be cut. The only place to find that kind of money in a school budget is in personnel and virtually all of the local dollars were being used to employ teachers above the number provided by the State. Andrews-the-candidate had apparently become concerned about the appearance of ravaging the classrooms. We all knew that was going to happen under these conditions, but she evidently wanted to soften the appearance.

I don't know, but I suspect that Bill Hanebuth, director of the Mobile County Education Association (MCEA), put her up to it. He understood what he was doing. She did not. In May, we had sent termination notices to some 700 non-tenured teachers (as a class) in anticipation of the budget cuts. The termination notices were necessary in order to comply with the Alabama tenure law which says that no tenured teacher can be mandatorily transferred to another position in the system as long as any non-tenured teacher is still employed. (Yes, you read that correctly.) In fact, that was the very point that Hanebuth and the MCEA had argued in the Martin case. In order to transfer some of the tenured people around to meet the needs of the children, we "technically" had to terminate all of the non-tenured teachers until the process was completed. Although I had sent a letter to the affected teachers all but guaranteeing that they would be re- employed after the dust settled, Hanebuth had come under considerable fire from his own troops because they perceived (correctly) that his stand the previous fall had forced us to take the action.

At the table, Andrews asked me to make a recommendation to terminate some probationary classified (i.e., non-teaching) personnel. She wanted the names of individual people. Earlier in the summer, the Board had finally adopted a Reduction in Force (RIF) policy that prescribed in detail the procedure for laying off people, should that become necessary. The procedure called for the Board to make a decision about what area(s) of the system was to be reduced/eliminated, and it prescribed how individual employees would be identified for termination or transfer after the Board decision. Andrews wanted the Board to pick out the individuals they wanted to terminate and then make the budget decision. In other words, she wanted to stand the Board policy on its head and invite lawsuits from every employee affected.

School board attorney Bob Campbell, school commissioners Hazel Fournier and Dr. Joseph Mitchell, and I tried to explain why her request could not be honored. I repeatedly asked the Board to make the budget decision and let the policy produce the names of affected individual employees. Andrews and Warren became incensed because they were going to have to follow their own policy. Campbell, out of frustration, finally told the Board that they could not terminate anyone without my recommendation; that it was not necessary to terminate any classified personnel at this point (because it could be done anytime with a fifteen day notice); and that taking such action now would only disrupt the school system.

He said exactly what I had been saying for 30 minutes, but the way he said it made it sound as if I was refusing to comply with Andrews' request for personal reasons rather than to keep the Board out of a legal mess. Mitchell, Fournier, and, I think, Adams understood the situation. Warren never did, and it was clear that neither she nor Andrews wanted to understand it either. She requested that I bring all of the names of probationary classified personnel and suggested that the Board would make the decisions about who would be terminated.

That suggestion brought Campbell back to explain it again. He repeated his earlier statement that the Board cannot terminate anyone without a recommendation from the Superintendent; that it was set up that way in law to prevent Boards from taking, or appearing to take, arbitrary and capricious actions against employees; and that the Board could not do what Warren was suggesting.

Someone pointed out that the Board already had the information Warren and Andrews were requesting and that it had been in their possession since May. This went over the heads of the two women who, by now, were very angry because they had been thwarted in carrying off their agenda, whatever that was.

The whole thing was absurd. Campbell and I were trying to keep the Board from being sued again and there was a way for them to accomplish whatever it was that they wanted to accomplish by simply following their own policy. But, even beyond these considerations, there were only 27 probationary classified personnel and 23 of them were clerks. Terminating all of them would not have made a dent in the $4 million reduction requirement. However, such action would have brought the system to its knees because there is a "15 day clock" for classified personnel, i.e., by law they are off the payroll 15 days after being notified. Had the Board notified some or all of the people in the category, we probably would not have been able to open school on time.

Superintendents are supposed to make recommendations to Boards that they consider to be in the best interest of the school system and the community. That is one reason why the "separation of power" statutes exist. Andrews and Warren wanted to make personnel decisions on the basis of their personal likes and dislikes of individual employees. They would have politicized the school system beyond imagination. Their intentions and behavior are the reasons the tenure laws are as they are in Alabama. The laws strangle school districts, but they are there to protect employees against Board members like them.

Cathy Donelson of the Mobile Press/Register picked up on Campbell's comments and the anger of Andrews and Warren. She did not understand the issue either and she got her "facts" wrong. The headlines read: Magann Won't Name Chopping Block Employees. Bronson ran a same-day editorial entitled: Magann Arrogance Dismissal Grounds. It read as follows:

"When Mobile County School Superintendent Dr. Doug Magann told his bosses on the Mobile County Board of Public School Commissioners Monday that they can't fire new employees at Barton Academy without his approval - and that he won't name names for the budget chops - he should have been fired immediately.

Where else could a subordinate such as Magann thumb his nose at his employers with impunity? Could a CEO do this to his board of directors? A colonel to the Joint Chiefs of Staff?

Of course not!

But the constantly arrogant Magann not only refused the request of his employers to make recommendations on terminating probationary staffers at the Barton Academy central office, but told the Board that hired him last year: "I would encourage you to stay away from voting on individual employees. I think counsel will tell you that."

Since the Board cannot terminate personnel without the Superintendent's recommendation, according to school system attorney Robert C. Campbell III, Magann is once more becoming more and more of the problem instead of working with many dedicated citizens toward a solution.

We are not at all surprised.

Several weeks ago, we were shocked when Magann said he was opposed to the accountability proposal that will be voted on later this year to provide much needed financing to our public schools. Typically for Magann, he said that the plan was not the one he wanted and therefore he would oppose it.

When we immediately suggested in an editorial that Magann was part of the problem instead of part of the solution to school woes, the education establishment jumped on our case and said, in effect, leave our man alone.

The school board timidly ignored Magann's public indiscretion and retained him despite what appeared to be ample reasons for dismissal.

However, they should have learned their lesson Monday.

School board president Jeanne E. Andrews had asked Magann several times to bring a list of recommendations on probationary classified employees - subject to the budget axe - from the central office to the next board meeting.

In making deep budget cuts, the five member board has mailed pink slips to about a thousand probationary professionals and clerks hired in the past three years.

When put on the hot spot Monday on this issue, Magann typically responded: "It is not my recommendation that you do that. It would dismantle the support system."

But it is the "support system" at Barton Academy that is obviously costing the public schools the public support we need to convince voters to approve additional taxes.

Probationary classified workers are those who have worked for the school system less than three years. They can be terminated without legal hearings before gaining tenure.

Magann said if the board is going to take out budget money "above the line," he suggested taking it out "below [the] line."

In other words, he wants to retain his companions at Barton and kick out classroom teachers.

"Reduce teachers? Why?", Mrs. Andrews asked. "I think it would make better sense to leave teachers alone until we see where the kids will be."

We agree - Magann doesn't.

He heatedly told Mrs. Andrews he had provided a list of probationary employees the board requested "but it must be understood it is not a recommendation."

Since it is not a recommendation - and a recommendation is required before any cuts can be made - Magann is obviously showing contempt once more for the hand that feeds him.

We therefore again suggest that the board send Magann packing."

Mitchell wrote a letter to the editor on July 19 chastising Donelson and Bronson for grossly misrepresenting what had occurred at the meeting. Again, it is not too difficult to understand his anger, and that of a few others in the community.

In late July, Andrews asked if I would mind waiving the requirement that the Board evaluate me before the anniversary date of my contract. I agreed to a waiver because, given the series of events during the year, we had not even had time to agree on an evaluation instrument to be used in the process.

In early August, Warren moved to adopt an instrument that I had never seen. I objected and reminded the Board that my contract required that we attempt to adopt one that all parties could agree upon. In the event that became impossible, the Board could then adopt one unilaterally. It was agreed that Andrews and I would work on some suggestions and bring them back to the Board at the next meeting. We did, and the Board adopted the recommended version unanimously and scheduled a time for the evaluation.

The evaluation session with me was to be held at 2 pm on Thursday, August 27th. On that day, Andrews convened the Board and went into Executive Session. I was then dismissed from the room in order to allow the Board members time "to discuss my evaluation among themselves" before going over it with me. I returned to my office and waited until nearly 5 pm before being called back.

Apparently, all hell had broken loose in the meeting from reports of clerical personnel stationed close to the door of the room. Voices could be heard up and down the floor. Mitchell and Warren had really had a round and then, according to later reports, Mitchell took on Andrews. Fournier got into the scramble at some point, but evidently to restrain Mitchell. When I returned to the meeting, Fournier asked Andrews and Warren to share their comments with me. Fournier was obviously upset and she wanted to force them to open the discussion with me. They orally shared some of the comments they had made on the evaluation forms, which I had not seen at that point.

At first, I was amused and then angered when I began to realize, from Fournier's reactions, that these comments were the extent of the "evaluation." Andrews said that the reading program "needs attention" and that evaluations had been done "late in the year." Both observations were correct. Many programs needed attention but, given the events of the year, I had only been able to scratch the surface in the curriculum area. As for the timing of the evaluations, these were the first evaluations in five years and she was complaining that they had not been completed until July!

She brought up Bennett and McConnell, the two technical assistants who had worked with us until April, and used the term "unauthorized use of funds." I took exception to that and asked what she meant. Andrews tried to say that she knew nothing about either the men's presence in the district or what they were doing. Fournier and Mitchell took her on before I could respond.

Andrews also brought up my "failure" to comply with her wishes regarding the probationary classified personnel terminations. Mitchell and Fournier again took her on and reminded her that it had not been a Board request and that the Superintendent is not required to respond to each individual member's request.

Finally, she mentioned an audit report and informed us that "she had been contacted by the State Examiner and had been asked to set up meetings between the auditor and individual Board members during the next week." She further stated that the auditor was making some 44 "charges" against the district and the superintendent. I questioned her on her use of the term "charges," and she steadfastly maintained that those were his "exact words." I told her that those were very unusual words for auditors to use and that they (the auditors) had not even completed the audit. She seemed concerned about documents from the auditors. I told her that we had not even had the exit interview with them much less received the audit report.

I finally excused myself and retrieved the various working memoranda of the auditors from my secretary. I made copies of these for the Board and explained what they were and how the process worked. Everyone seemed relatively satisfied with the explanations. I could never quite understand why or how the audit came up during my evaluation because I had not even been in the district during the period covered by the audit (1987-91).

Warren brought up the same items as Andrews. It was pretty evident that their "evaluations" had been a team effort. Warren did have a comment in the Facilities Management section of the evaluation form that turned out to be rather significant and prophetic. She neglected to fill out that part, but wrote in the margin: "Paul (Sousa) and Phillip (Russell) do this and do it well!" In retrospect, I should have seen the handwriting on the wall. The deal had already been cut.

Someone suggested that the hour was late and that the meeting should be continued on Monday. I asked for copies of the written evaluations in order to respond to them on Monday. When I received the written versions a few minutes later, it was apparent that three of the Board members had not even used the agreed upon form. Fournier and Mitchell had followed the format fairly closely, but in narrative form, and Adams had written 9 or 10 lines and added a disclaimer that he really did not know enough to answer the other items.

The next morning, I contacted Andrews and informed her that I had to insist that the Board use the evaluation forms it had adopted at a previous meeting and asked her to contact the three members. She did and they all called me and agreed to have them by 5 pm Friday. Adams was not happy that he had to redo his.

Over that weekend, I drafted a response to some of the comments made by Andrews and Warren. I did not address them all because time did not permit and some of them were so asinine that they did not warrant a response. Andrews, for instance, said that I was "educated and could be charming" but that I was "rude to the community leaders and general population." Warren said that I was "well groomed" and "used proper grammar," but she preferred "suits for professional people."

When we reconvened on Monday, I was prepared to discuss their comments and my written response. I gave the Board members copies of all five evaluations and a copy of my response. They asked for a few minutes to read them over before we began. When I rejoined the group a few minutes later, things were heating up again between the members. After the Thursday meeting, apparently Fournier had called the State Examiner to confirm Andrews' report. She had gotten an entirely different story. The auditor told her that Andrews had contacted him and requested the meetings rather than the other way around. Further, his office had never used the term "charges" nor would he. He confirmed that the audit was not complete and that the exit interview had not been held.

Fournier confronted Andrews with this information. Andrews did not respond after repeated requests, and the meeting went down hill from that point. Fournier continued to challenge the honesty of Andrews on this and other items as we continued. Mitchell got into the foray at several points, but was evidently much more subdued than on the previous Thursday.

Some discussion took place about the "Accountability Bill" issue. Again, there were sharp divisions among the Board members. Also, I recall some discussion about Chapter 1. Fournier and Mitchell were adamant in their defense of my actions and my recommendations to the Board, probably because they better understand the program than the other three. In the end, we adjourned without rationally discussing anything. It was apparent to everyone that Andrews and Warren had worked together in formulating their "evaluations," and that they were not interested in discussions of their comments. Adams simply wanted the thing to end, and Fournier and Mitchell were incensed at what they perceived to be an attempted lynching.

On the preceding Friday, the media had made several contacts with the office wanting to know about the evaluation. More contacts were made on Monday. I knew that I would have to make some type of response at the conclusion of the session. I decided to do all of them at one time to avoid having to go through the ugly mess more than once.

How does one describe what had happened over the previous few days? I decided to let the documents speak for themselves and answer questions as they arose. I had been accustomed to public evaluations in Florida for 10 years and, although I had never had anything approaching this situation before, I was not uncomfortable with the format. The media assembled sometime that afternoon and I met with them for 10-15 minutes. I remember a question from the Mobile Press/Register reporter, Cathy Donelson, about why I had released the documents. My response was that it was because she had been asking for them for 3 days. The paper ran very little of the information.

Actually, the evaluations were pretty good even when Andrews' and Warren's hatchet jobs were included. The evaluation contained 35 performance related items and the evaluator was asked to use a 5 point scale with 5 being "outstanding" and 1 being "unsatisfactory." On 32 of the 35 items, the average grade from all five Board members was "satisfactory," and if Andrews and Warren were ignored, the other three Board members rated me "very good" or "outstanding" on 33 of the 35 measures.

On Wednesday, Bronson ran an editorial entitled: School Board Must Dismiss Doug Magann. It read:

"The Mobile County Board of School Commissioners should dismiss Doug Magann before another sunset - and not pay him another dime.

Ever arrogant and combative, Magann hit a new low in job performance Tuesday when he went public with what should have remained privileged information concerning his evaluation reports from the board members. His childish reaction to deserved criticism serves only to further undermine public confidence in our public school system and makes it obvious that it will be impossible to ever achieve the harmonious working relationships necessary to efficiently operate that system.

It was another example of the fact that Magann is a walking, talking public relations disaster - at a time when a super salesman is needed for our public schools in order for them to begin receiving additional public support.

Magann's principal problem - like that of many education administrators - is that he wants things done his way or not at all. Such has been the case with the accountability package of school improvement proposals that are to be voted on September 22. Magann wants millions in additional money to spend, but without any accountability strings attached.

He also eroded confidence and credibility by proposing huge expenditures on computers, additional aides, outside consultants and other frills while at the same time making threats about closing schools for lack of funds.

Board member Marion P. "Sugar" Warren was right on target in her evaluation when she described Magann as "stubborn - to the point of being rude."

The Board's president, Jeanne Andrews, had similar criticisms while members N.Q. Adams and Hazel Fournier generally praised Magann from a professional standpoint but took note of his obvious lack of tact and diplomacy.

We were shocked that the fifth commissioner, Dr. Joseph Mitchell, gave Magann excellent marks in every category.

As an educator and an obviously intelligent individual, Mitchell surely recognizes that Magann has been an ineffective superintendent in the year that he has been here - and that it will be impossible for him to continue in the job.

But even if Mitchell maintains his undeserved admiration of Magann, there is obviously a clear majority that recognizes the shortcomings of the fugitive from Florida and they should assemble in special session to give him his walking papers.

What's more, a buy-out of his four year contract that pays an annual base salary of $101,122, plus expenses and benefits, is out of the question.

When the board employee went public with criticism of his bosses, it presented the board with more than enough justification to dismiss for cause.

In his six page letter, Magann took pot-shots at the board and, in effect, accused some of being liars and incompetent meddlers.

Not many employers - particularly those elected by the taxpayers - would tolerate such abuse from a paid hand and we hope the board will show its displeasure by giving Magann the boot."

Some people asked me if I was surprised when, five weeks later, Warren made the motion to suspend me. After the "evaluation" experience, nothing the two women might do would have surprised me, but I was very surprised and disappointed that Adams had gone along with it.

A contract between a superintendent and a School Board is like a pre-nuptual agreement. It is intended to spell out what each party is expected to do in, and contribute to, the relationship. It also contains penalty provisions in the event that one of the parties fails to perform his/her commitments. Further, it spells out the procedures by which either party can dissolve the relationship and the results of such action, should it be taken. Contracts are designed to protect both parties, and they presume that both parties will be honorable.

My contract contained penalties and escape clauses for both parties. If I left before the end of one year, there were some pretty hefty penalties for me. If the Board wanted to unilaterally dissolve the relationship, there were two ways that could be accomplished: (1) fire me for "cause" or (2) pay off the contract (or negotiate a settlement). Had the Board indicated that it wanted a divorce prior to October 5th, something probably could have been worked out to our mutual satisfaction. This was not the case.

A divorce is always an expensive proposition and, when those expenses become apparent to both parties, one or both usually go after the other with a vengeance. When Bronson began calling for my head in June, the subject of the cost of unilateral termination had come up and stunned him and his colleagues. I was told later that my contract was the hottest piece of paper in town for several weeks as various lawyers were asked to find some way to break it and simply send me packing without honoring the provisions agreed upon. The reason we have contracts is to protect people like me from people like them. They are accustomed to simply riding roughshod over anyone who gets in their way, and they have no honor.

Immediately after the referendum failed on September 22nd and Bronson and Windom began calling for my dismissal again, rumors began to circulate that certain "businessmen" in town had taken up a collection and were going to give it to the Board to let them buy out the remainder of my contract. Concerned staff members would drop by to ask me what I was going to do if that happened and I would explain to them that there was nothing I could do if the Board honored its contract commitments. When Andrews scheduled the special meeting on October 5th, virtually everyone thought that the rumors were about to be proven true.

I was absolutely dumbfounded when Warren made the motion to suspend me "pending a termination hearing." I think everyone in the room that morning was shocked, except for Andrews, Warren, and Adams. This was an ambush -- an assassination attempt. There had been no hint of this and there was clear violation of the procedure spelled out in the contract document to address performance concerns, if they existed. Then again, some divorces are not rational, and that is why they become so painful and expensive.

The assassination analogy is not a bad one. They had reasoned that an assassination was cheaper than a divorce. If they could make up some charges and level them in public and, if the same three Board members had agreed in advance to sustain those charges regardless of the evidence, then the pre-nuptual agreement could be ignored. It was somewhat like one spouse arranging a fatal accident for the other!

Mitchell and Fournier were outraged at the actions of the other three. They had not been informed. In fact, they had been deliberately excluded from the discussions that had obviously taken place prior to the meeting. Andrews had placed the item on the agenda. It read: "Superintendent's Contract." Mitchell questioned the item before the agenda was adopted and was assured by Andrews that the contract was the subject, rather than the superintendent. Upon adoption of the agenda, Warren introduced a four part motion that had nothing to do with the contract and Mitchell and Fournier hit the ceiling -- understandably. Warren's motion was as follows:

"I move that the Board propose the suspension of the Superintendent for 90 days, with pay, pending the termination hearing and that he immediately vacate the premises and that the Board hire Smith, Dukes, and Buckalew to review and secure the financial records and that Mr. Paul Sousa be appointed acting superintendent and that Mr. Jim Wood be hired to assist the Board in this matter."

The meeting, from that point on, was the most bizarre I have witnessed in 20 years. A verbatim transcription exists (which would have been entered into evidence had the hearing continued). That transcript tells more about the governance of the Mobile school system than volumes of history will ever be able to describe.

Mitchell later filed a complaint with the Alabama Ethics Commission against Adams, Andrews, and Warren. I am told that he also filed a complaint with the U.S. Justice Department. I do not know where these actions stand at this time, or if they will ever be heard. His concerns had to do with the process more than with my personal situation. I understand his concerns and agree with them, but I was forced to attend to my own problem at the time.

The behavior of the three white Board members that morning illustrates the kind of thing that makes Mitchell so angry. He is not alone. Every citizen in the community, black and white, should be angry. Not about what happened to me, but about the way public business is conducted by elected representatives. They are lawless. Contracts, rules, regulations, policies, and even laws that apply to the rest of us do not apply to them. They do what they want to with impunity. The continued existence of this mentality explains why there have been so many costly and divisive suits in the County over the years.

Mitchell, Fournier and the minority communities they represent, have been on the receiving end of such actions historically, and they have learned how to fight back in the courts. But the majority of the white community has been victimized also, without even knowing it. Virtually all but the power elite are excluded from the decision making process of the school system, and the other branches of government that affect their lives every day. The two black Board members, taken together, represent 40 percent of the community and those people were denied representation in that decision (and many others). But most of the remaining 60 percent are also denied representation routinely. They have little or no understanding of how the system works, or is supposed to work, and they are simply left out of the debates that lead to important policy decisions which affect their children and their lives. They are considered to be too stupid to understand the issues, and must be fed half truths and over simplifications in order to keep them pacified. This is government as theater, rather than representative democracy. The rulers make the decisions and play them out on stage to entertain the masses. This is governmental Mardis Gras.

Bronson and the Press/Register have tried to portray the division on the Board as a Black/White split, but it is not. It is philosophical and far deeper than race. Fournier and Mitchell want to open up the process so that everyone can participate, if they choose to, by letting people know what is going on when it is going on. This is made all but impossible when the media refuse to report the stories. There are reasons for this.

The action of the three Board members that morning forever damaged my reputation. The magnitude of the damage can only be assessed over the months and years ahead. They knew what they were doing, and it was intentional. They knew that there was absolutely no substance to the charges and that simply taking the action in public would be enough to devastate me, my family, my future, and everything I had worked for up to that point in time. I might be able to understand the immaturity and spitefulness of the two women, but I shall never be able to forgive Adams for going along with them. Of all of the Board members, he knew what he was doing. I found it interesting that, throughout the hearing, he would never look me in the eye.

It was clear from the moment Warren made the motion that I was involved in a long, painful, and costly process to defend myself and my reputation. The process itself would damage me, the School Board, the system, and the community. I cannot imagine the reasoning that led to that action, unless it reflects a total disregard for all persons except the rulers.

Later that day, school system employees Barbara Shaw and Gene Tysowsky returned from lunch to find sealed envelopes in their chairs. Sousa had "reassigned" them to the Transportation and Maintenance Departments, effective immediately. A full purge was underway. When Campbell found out about it later in the day, he had a fit. It was too obvious. Tysowsky had to be called back immediately to maintain appearances. Shaw remained banished.

After a few days, I began to look for a lawyer and wait on the charges that their hired gun was "to develop." Normally, one would know what you are going to charge someone with before you take any action. But this was Mobile. This was the plantation. The only requirement was that things "appeared" correct in the end.

(Next Article in the Series)

October 26, 1993


The Harbinger is a biweekly newspaper published through the effort of The Harbinger, which consists of area faculty, staff and students, and members of the Mobile community. The Harbinger is a non-profit education foundation. The views expressed here are the responsibility of The Harbinger. Contributions to The Harbinger are tax exempt to the full extent of the law and create no liability for the contributor.