Archive for Clark County Public School

All That Glitters Isn’t Golden – Final Lawsuit Resolution

Posted in In The News, Lawsuit, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2014 by Joan Graves

It has been nearly three years since Paul and Patti Columbia and I were sued by former school superintendent, Elaine Farris. It has been three years filled with laughter, tears and an overwhelming amount of disillusionment with the justice system. Our attorney accurately labeled the fiasco when he called it a spite suit. Filing a lawsuit was a last ditch effort at shutting us up and it worked….for a while.

When the community realized all they did not know about the inner workings of the board of education they responded with disgust at the voting booth. They ousted every board member, including long-time incumbent, Debbie Fatkin, who was up for re-election. Two of the three people endorsed by Stand Up Clark County won seats on the board. At last, a new era finally was born, as opposed to being something just stamped on a hat. But that was the crux of the problem. The former administration lacked the ability to understand that strategically placing pretty, pacifist words in key locations never convinced the community they were true. Through actions and in their own legally obtained emails, the former administration presented themselves as people who thought too highly of their own opinions and not enough of the community’s. In essence, they were the makers of their own demise.

While leadership had changed hands it was only a battle won. A war was still very much underway for the Columbias and me and years of our lives were being stolen. Despite being the one to initiate the lawsuit, Elaine and her attorney, Dale Golden, seemed less invested in winning than in dragging the case out. From our perspective, Golden’s single-minded purpose was to see how long he could keep us from actually obtaining a court date. So, rather than allow the case to proceed naturally before a jury Golden employed every delay tactic at his disposal.

I lost track of the number of times we showed up in court only to discover the case had been put off. Or we would be notified that a delay tactic had been initiated only hours before we were to appear in court. All the while your tax dollars were paying for these incessant delays, and Elaine never to show up.

The final stall defense came when Golden, knowing a court date was imminent, called the judge asking for yet another delay. His desperation was evident when his reason was because he thought the trial was in Madison County. Considering the case was filed in Clark County and to my knowledge no one even mentioned Madison County, much less actually gone there, he had no reason to be of that frame of mind. Conveniently enough, when the judge refused, someone from his office, stood up in the courtroom to make her appearance known. Golden may have thought he was very cleaver but his ruse didn’t work. A court date was set and within hours of receiving a March trial date, Golden contacted our attorney to dismiss the case.

All of the accusations made against us, all of the time invested and all the tax dollars spent have all been for naught. The Supreme Court intentionally made it difficult for the wealthy, powerful or public figures to be able to sue the “little man” for slander, liable and the like. Farris held a public office paid with tax payer dollars. Those dollars have the right to be represented, challenged and accounted for. To us, it is a huge travesty of justice to allow someone sue the very people they are supposed to defend and waste the tax dollars they were entrusted to manage. It’s behavior that screams poorly orchestrated leadership and narcissistic behavior, at best.

Regardless, of what it has been, the point is what it is now – and that is over. With the dropping of the lawsuit so goes the facade of victimhood. For the only thing Elaine Farris was ever victim of was herself. That is just extremely sad. Yet, today is not a time to mourn but to celebrate. The vice that has strangled this community’s educational system has been released. Stand Up Clark County has fulfilled our promise to this great community. We have ensured that the public is at last back in public education and proven all that glitters is not Golden.

Thankful For All Of You Thanking Us This Thanksgiving

Posted in Lawsuit, Point of View with tags , , , , on November 20, 2012 by Joan Graves

Stand Up Clark County has been inundated with emails, texts and phone calls of support. It’s really been an amazing journey. You continue to prove why Winchester and Clark County is a place we’re proud to call home.

For all of you that have credited us for your recent bonus, we are simply glad you got it. As you all know Stand Up Clark County has been lobbying for better pay and treatment of employees for a long time. We were very disappointed to have our requests denied. But, as often is the case, what seemed bad has been made into a blessing. Because you didn’t get it then, you are now getting it just in time for the holidays. We could not be happier for each of you.

On a personal note I would like to try to convey a thank you to the complete strangers that have rallied around me. I am constantly approached in public by strangers wanting to encourage me. Yesterday, a couple stopped by my house to tell me that in the beginning they weren’t necessarily in tune with what was happening. But for them and so many others the filing of the lawsuit against the Columbias and me by the superintendent was simply too much. People that voted against us in the election are now apologizing. It seems that this lawsuit has proven our case better than we ever could have.

As much as we are thankful, we ask all of you to not hold onto any anger or bitterness. Our community has had enough of it. Stand up Clark County is about advocating accountability, not revenge tactics. We have come too far to allow anger and frustration to have any part in what we do. Those negative emotions are what put all of this in motion. So, for all that want to know what you can do to help – enjoy your holiday. Gather with family and friends and thank God for the many blessings He has poured out upon us all. And above all allow God to be the author of the emotions of your heart.

Sit down Stand Up Clark County and enjoy your holiday.


Judy Considers Breaking Policy

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on June 14, 2012 by Joan Graves

Judy Considers Breaking Policy

In this email Judy clearly spells out what the policy is regarding mail addressed to the board. Rather than follow procedure she again seeks direction from Elaine. What is that about? Why must Judy always have Elaine’s permission to follow laws, guidelines, rules & policies?