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Internal Complaint Lodged Against D46 Board Member Michael Carbone Allegedly Leaked To Press

Tempers flare at the Sept. 5 D46 School Board meeting after details of an internal complaint made against board member Michael Carbone appear in a daily newspaper.

New business at the Sept. 5 School Board meeting included an agenda item regarding an internal complaint filed by two district employees against board member Michael Carbone.

The names of the complainants were not revealed by the school board in the agenda item, but had been published by the Daily Herald. Some school board members said they believed the details of the confidential complaint had been leaked.

Editor's Update: The Sept. 5 board packet, which was posted sometime after the meeting and included a copy of the complaint report, no longer includes that complaint.

"I don't appreciate seeing us on the front page of the Daily Herald," said board member Kip Evans, who held up a copy of the newspaper. "What's being presented is a witch hunt. When are we going to stop leaking information?"

Evans was referencing a story that appeared in the Daily Herald on Sept. 1.

According to the Daily Herald report, two D46 employees filed an internal complaint against board member Michael Carbone after he registered his daughter for school on Aug. 7.

The employees stated in their complaint, details of which were published in the Daily Herald, that they felt "threatened and worried" when Carbone refused to indicate if he intended to pay for the registration fee and refused to sign a promissory note as required.

Carbone acknowledged to Patch that he did not pay the fee at the time of registration because it is not a requirement, nor did he sign a promissory note, though the Daily Herald report states Carbone printed and signed his wife's name in front of two witnesses. Carbone told Patch he has not received a bill from the school district for the registration fee.

Carbone said he believes the "leak" of the complaint was intended to defame his name as he is campaigning for a seat on the Lake County Board for District 16.

"Everyone thinks this is nothing but trumped-up charges," said resident Joan Seifert during public comment.

Carbone is crying retaliation because he has exposed board and district improprieties related to the 2011 campaign coordination of board member Sue Facklam and former board president Mary Garcia by Supt. Ellen Correll and other staff during work hours, and for his exposure of alleged insider hirings, violations of the Open Meetings Act, and other ethics matters.

Correll was ultimately publicly remanded by the board for her actions and Facklam was found by the Lake County State's Attorney's Office to have committed two felonies for allegedly offering students gift cards in exchange for votes. Though the state's attorney's office declined to prosecute, Facklam was  censured by the school board.

In a statement he read to the board and audience, Carbone said he knows certain board members don't like to be challenged, but that he will continue to expose wrongdoing.

"These tactics of intimidation will not make me go away," said Carbone, suggesting some board members would rather play politics than discuss real issues at-hand, such as the district's "$1.6 million budget deficit."

Criticizing the leak of the internal complaint and the fact that the matter was on the agenda despite board president Ray Millington's motion to handle the complaint through a uniform grievance procedure, Carbone said there should be no exceptions to protecting the privacy of district staff, students and parents, and he is a parent.

"To go above the law for personal vendetta is embarrassing, unethical, abusive and most of all, disrespectful to this body of government."

"Just pay your registration fees," yelled board member Keith Surroz, prior to walking out of the meeting for a couple minutes.

Carbone Censure

Carbone is no stranger to controversy while sitting on the board. He was censured in March 2011 for allegedly seeking confidential information he was not authorized to have related to whether full-time teachers took the day off to attend union rallies in Milwaukee.

At Wednesday's meeting, Carbone called out the district for its own violations by not releasing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests made in April 2011 by a local attorney regarding that censure.

Carbone showed a document from Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office stating the district was obliged to release the requested information within seven business days. The district did not respond until Sept. 2011, and still did not release all requested documents.

Lennie Jarratt, chairman of the Lake County Tea Party, has taken D46 to court over the denied release of hundreds of e-mails he requested through FOIA. The next court date is Sept. 20.

Lennie Jarratt September 07, 2012 at 08:33 PM
Here is the link to the court documents so you don't have to even research. http://www.championnews.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/D46_We_Can_Lie.pdf
Sully September 07, 2012 at 09:14 PM
Judge and jury, Lennie? Come on, he's your buddy. Of course you're going to say that. As The Collective (Borg?) said, no evidence does not mean nothing happened. Unless of course, it's your ally. Then he can do no wrong, and he's always innocent.
Tim Froehlig September 07, 2012 at 09:53 PM
If you read all the above comments, there is way more going on that needs to be addressed than just the formal complaint, too. An internal (and external if need be) investigation should take place, if it hasn't begun already, about these allegations. Trouble is, with so much political nonsense going on, I highly doubt a fair and balanced investigation can or will occur. Like I said before, this information should have never been leaked, and if it is found out who leaked that information, they should be fired or resign immediately. The bottom line remains the same: Nonsense and political ridiculousness now plagues Republicans, Democrats, and just about everyone on this board. And anyone who is attempting to do the right thing is only getting their names drug through the mud as a result of the actions of others. There is a serious lack of concern as to where the priorities of this school board and superintendent should be. One's political affiliation shouldn't even have to be discussed here. The problems that have been going on in D46 have been made just that however. On BOTH sides. How about this investigation gets handled without everyone in D46 blabbing leaks to the press, in a professional manner, then next board meeting, get down to addressing REAL problems in a non political manner. Like the air conditioning issue. Or the fact violent murder is literally discussed in first grade take home assignment books.
Lennie Jarratt September 07, 2012 at 09:54 PM
LOL @Sully. It's so funny to see you guys talking about how someone can be convicted of wrong doing WITHOUT evidence, but when actual evidence was presented in the emails (in their own words), it was dismissed as needing more proof. This is just too funny the gyrations you guys will go through to defend the lies, unethical and actual criminal behavior of the board majority and administration. I'm still waiting for you guys to show up and a board meeting and help clean up this district so the focus can return to the education of the children.
Tim Froehlig September 07, 2012 at 09:56 PM
We realize that D46 is facing budget cuts from the state, and that there has been public scandal swirling around it seemingly non stop. You all want to end this charade? Then either resign, otherwise come to the next board meeting without bringing up ANY political or vengeful nonsense, and get back to business. Talk about the ISSUES, and how to solve them. Even if you can't stand each other....keep it professional. That IS something that is fully within the control of EVERY D46 administrative and board member. Period. We're not all running for congress here Your job is to figure out the best possible ways to maximize taxpayer dollars while providing a great education for all these kids. Period.
Lennie Jarratt September 07, 2012 at 10:00 PM
You are correct Tim. I tried to get that to happen last summer. I met with Ray Millington and Shannon to try and work something out. I offered then and now: Turn over all the emails to the States Atty. The State's Atty will be the impartial and final arbiter. That offer was refused and we are still in court and just found out out the district lied to the judge. Why the attempted delays and cover ups still. It's a shame. This should have been over with a year ago.
Tim Froehlig September 07, 2012 at 10:02 PM
And if everyone wants to have a slugfest about personnel (or personal) matters, complaints or political things, do it in executive session. Scream and yell at each other there, in private. During the regular board meeting, keep the focus on what you are all doing there. Shame on anyone who even brought this up openly in the regular meeting when it was a complaint and personnel matter as well. There is plenty of blame to go around here. But how about we keep the focus on business matters at the actual meeting. If someone brings up a political issue during question and answer, fine, state your thoughts calmly or let them know you will further discuss those issues outside of the meeting. Keep the focus at these meetings on doing things that help these kids!!!!! And with that, I have to go to work myself now. Have a good evening everyone.
Nightcrawler September 07, 2012 at 10:06 PM
WP - It was a grandstanding scene because Mr. Carbone was grandstanding. Read the complaint. The guy is disgusting.
Angela Sykora (Editor) September 07, 2012 at 10:17 PM
Editor's Note: The Sept. 5 board packet, which is now available and includes the actual copy of the internal complaint, with names, was not posted prior to the meeting.
Nightcrawler September 07, 2012 at 10:21 PM
According to Bob Susnjara, no one leaked anything to him.
Tim Froehlig September 07, 2012 at 10:35 PM
Nightcrawler, If you would like to see the page/material in question, e-mail me at timfroehlig@yahoo.com. I have a scanned copy that you can view firsthand yourself. It has no place in a first grade take home booklet of any kids.
Tim Froehlig September 07, 2012 at 10:37 PM
If that's the case, Nightcrawler, and it may well be, why is the board discussing this complaint and throwing people's names out in the public eye at a board meeting and not addressing the matter separately? Now potentially innocent people have to have their names drug through the mud for filing what may well be a legitimiite complaint? This should NOT have been aired out at a board meeting openly. People who file complaints should have some right to privacy, unless they were the ones who went public with it.
Tim Froehlig September 07, 2012 at 10:46 PM
Those wanting to see a copy of the take home homework assignment book that I discussed above, which exposes first graders to and discusses the "violent murder" of Jennifer Hudson's family, feel free to e-mail me at timfroehlig@yahoo.com, and I would be happy to send you a scanned copy of it. Lastly, let me say that I waited almost two weeks before making this information public on here. I am only now sharing this because of the lack of seriousness with which my claim was addressed by the superintendent and some, but not all, school board members. Again, this is not a political issue. Kids at Avon School, and possibly other schools, that are 6 and 7 years old, are geing sent home with and exposed to the topic of murder. And again, when I told the superintendent and school board president, I was told by the superintendent, "No one else has complained about it yet." As if that makes it okay somehow? The school board president's response was that "Ellen (the superintendent) said she was taking care of it." And that may well eventually be the case. Meanwhile, these Character Counts books go home with the kids 4 days a week, and in some classes possibly 5 days a week. Not being political, just sharing factual information. Information I have documented, which I did NOt want to make public, but because it has gone largely ignored, feel I had no choice now, and that it was right to make parents at least, aware of this. Then, they can make their own choices.
Nightcrawler September 07, 2012 at 11:20 PM
I hear you,Tim. I'm not up on board meeting protocol, so I'm not sure what's appropriate and what's not, and I doubt anyone really is, considering how unusual this incident is. My feeling is the complainants' names should have been redacted, but I absolutely do believe the complaint belonged on the agenda, warranted public discussion, and demands the attention of everybody in the community. This guy is out of control. He has no business on the D46 Board, or any other.
Lennie Jarratt September 08, 2012 at 03:24 PM
Interesting, so not only did the board violate the privacy rights of the teachers and a student with a leaked copy of the complaint to the media before the meeting, they did so again in the board packet even though they voted to keep the investigation in private. For those that didn't know this was politically motivated before should know so now. This would be unbelievable for a district other than D46 who has continued a practice of unethical and criminal behavior.
Lennie Jarratt September 08, 2012 at 03:41 PM
I also find it hilarious how they go for months without approving board minutes or failing to put board packets on the website, but this packet is up within a couple days. In fact the board packets for July are still are not online. The list of FOIA requests has not been updated since August, 2011. I guess I should do another FOIA so they get updated, since whenever the light is shown on them, the regular routine is to run and deflect onto someone else.
Angela Sykora (Editor) September 09, 2012 at 12:28 AM
Editor's Note: As of Sept. 8. the D46 board packet currently posted no longer contains the complaint report.
D. Watkins September 11, 2012 at 02:25 PM
Isnt his wife a teacher? So basically what he is saying is that he supports transparency in government, while living off government money but refusing to pay back to the government was is required and then claims to be all about justice. What is this guy's problem? Has he ever encountered a situation in life where he could just get something accomplished without making a big hoop la la about it? How HARD is it to register your kid for school? Doesnt he as a member of the SCHOOL BOARD WRITE THE POLICY ON HOW PEOPLE REGISTER their kids for school? If he was doing his JOB and not just arguing all the time maybe he could have raised the issue as a board member and proposed a POSITIVE resolution that is helpful to the entire community and not just himself.
Lennie Jarratt September 11, 2012 at 02:36 PM
@Nightcrawler, when did you read a copy of the complaint? Did you not realize making it public is a violation of privacy rights for both the teachers and the student?
Sandra Sims September 11, 2012 at 03:29 PM
Sully can't run for the board. He doesn't live in D46. Not sure what causes him to post on every thread regarding it. Maybe he just can't miss an opportunity to fight with Jarratt. I do agree that Tim Froehlig would make a good candidate. Let me know if you decide to run, Tim. I will help out where I can.
Pete Gardner September 11, 2012 at 06:00 PM
I'm speechless today. Today of all days should remind each one of us how short life can be. Does anyone remember the courtesy shown to our neighbors, strangers, in traffic, at the store, etc. after 9-11-2001? Where is that courtesy toward each other now? I feel sorry for everyone involved in this even though I don't know who they are. Not everyone can get along but to add to that with the constant bickering here? Gas on a fire. Who of any quality will run for any position when they have all of this to look forward to? Very sad day 11 years ago. Continued sadness for the lack of humanity and courtesy shown toward each other be it the school board, villages, grocery store, traffic, and yes, a comment section.
Tim Froehlig September 11, 2012 at 07:42 PM
The trouble is, Pete, so many people on here have taken their concerns directly to the school board or administration in a calm, patient fashion, hoping their worries would be alleviated, only to have them completely ignored. As a result, some people feel the need to share information publicly because when people aren't doing their jobs, this is the only way to communicate on a larger scale. I think the situation is a microcosm of people's disdain toward people in elected office throughout the country, not just here. I don't think people here want to be angry, they want to solve problems and aren't getting a lot of help. Take a look at the video from the last board meeting and you'll see why people are so upset. They have very good reason to be, sir. We also just lost a great principal at Avon School, one who last year had the kids honor the 9/11 victims and heroes with a beautiful decoration along Route 83 last year, which sadly, was a tradition that was not continued this year today in her absence. We should all try to give something back to the community, whether publicly, or behind the scenes. I agree.
Sully September 11, 2012 at 09:05 PM
You are absolutely correct, Sandra. I don't live in the district. My interest Is based on my working with D46 students as a volunteer. The kids there are great and they have a lot of potential. Some people seem to fail to understand that well educated kids will be productive adults helping the economy some day.
Sully September 11, 2012 at 09:17 PM
Oh, and Sandra, my issue is with the tea party, not really with Lennie so much. I don't like him-I admit that-but my argument is against the tea party's goal of destroying public education. Privatizing education so it becomes more about profit than learning is not in the best interest of anyone but the ones making the money. School choice and charters could be great, however, with no accountability of the money they receive or the curriculum they provide, they are too unreliable right now.
Lennie Jarratt September 12, 2012 at 12:37 AM
You are exactly right @Tim, I have experienced the same thing. Working directly with the administration and board away from the public does not always work. Your only recourse sometime is to go public.
Lennie Jarratt September 12, 2012 at 12:49 AM
Interesting how you generalize the tea party views, yet in another post you didn't like the fact that some were generalizing teachers and unions. There is no tea party goal of destroying public education. Education is not even a part of the majority of tea party discussions. I know very very few who want no public education. I argue that we must have public education when I run into them. The reason I personally talk about education is I have been watching what has happened in D46 for about 8 years now, long before the tea party existed. I have researched this and many other districts and I understand how they work. Education must be reformed because it is fiscally on an unsustainable path while simultaneously failing too many of its students. Parents need to be empowered so they come more involved (studies prove this). Mandates must be lifted at both the federal and state levels. NCLB should be repealed. My goal is ALL children having access to a quality education. BTW, in case you didn't know, there is a Democrats for Education Reform group as well.
Jose Cuervo September 12, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Can someone tell everyone how many times complaints, be it verbal or written, were submitted to the board or administration regarding Michael Linder? Staff was afraid of the guy. They tiptoed around him like he was a snake waiting to strike. He yelled at community members regularly. He treated people like dirt and was the biggest bully this district has ever seen. Where was the public outrage? How were the complaints against him handled? Link a meeting or two showing his disrespectful tirades and then ask theboard to tell everyone why he wasn't handled the same way as Carbone.
Terri September 13, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Avon had a great principal? What planet are you on? Tim...if you have some extra energy, look into the use of special funds, stipends, nepotism, teacher evaluation and overall moral at Avon. The 9/11 remembrance was omitted due to lack of leadership...not ignorance.
Sully September 13, 2012 at 02:29 PM
Lennie, where do the funds come from that feeds your little group? I believe you ally yourself with Americans for Prosperity, do you not? I'm very aware that there are democrats who school reform. I would argue with their position too. These reformers have not worked in public education, nor do they have any understanding of the testing issues. You've been saying access to education for all children, but you don't really explain the changes you want to ensure that. Charter schools are not always what they appear nor are they held accountable. Who decides what particular information from particular subjects should be covered by ALL U.S. schools that are public (charters are public, as they get money from public school systems)? How do you determine all schools are providing the best education? Choice and charter don't necessarily guarantee the school is quality.
Tim Froehlig September 13, 2012 at 02:32 PM
@Terri: What specific issue did you have with Principal Barkley? She was always extremely helpful when I was around. And I never once said the 9/11 rememberance was omitted due to ignorance, you did. In fact, you kind of prove my point by saying it was omitted to to a lack of leadership. That would be the principal's job normally. Most of the things you mention are items that are approved by the school board ultimately, so accusations of neoptism, for example, should be directed at those who approve such hirings, not a school principal. Just saying. There's no way for me to gague the moral at Avon, it's not like I can send all the teachers a public opinion poll. If there are specific issues you had with the principal or something you feel isn't working well, or know something specific, please, by all means, share it with everyone. Thanks.

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