Two of three embattled school board members running for re-election in the Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township spoke publicly for the first time about the controversial $1 million retirement payout for the ex-superintendent.
Wayne Township school board members signed off on Terry Thompson's contract, which resulted in the a lawsuit filed by the school board against Thompson.
Three school board members are up for re-election and are running, including Shirley Deckard, Trish Logan and Phyllis Lewis.
Deckard and Logan declined to speak with Call 6 Investigator Kara Kenney on camera, but agreed to answer questions via email.
This is the first time Deckard and Logan have addressed any questions about the Thompson controversy since the Call 6 Investigators broke the story in January 2011.
Deckard served on the board from 1988 to 2004, and was re-elected in 2008. Logan has served since 2004.
Kenney asked Deckard and Logan what they have to say to voters who feel let down by the Thompson situation.
"We have all felt 'let down' by Dr. Thompson in the referenced situation, but have continued to move forward, as a district and as a community, to provide our students terrific opportunities and resources to reach their full potential," Deckard said via email.
"Our school board has been able to scrutinize our policies and procedures from a fresh perspective to see if they meet the needs of our employees and serve our community," Logan said via email. "Accordingly, we have implemented new policies to address these needs. Through our pursuit of legal recourse, we have received $435,000 from Bose, McKinney & Evans."
The school district's former attorney, Jon Bailey of Bose McKinney & Evans, signed off on Thompson's now-notorious contract.
In March 2012, RTV6 reported the law firm
agreed to pay legal fees associated with the Thompson investigation and lawsuit.
RTV6 also asked Deckard and Logan why they're running for school board after all the scrutiny they've faced.
"'Scrutiny' includes the long and careful look at all of the wonderful things being done for our students in MSD Wayne, which far outnumber and outweigh issues that have been scrutinized," Deckard said. "The people of Wayne Township, the community, the top-notch administrators, the dynamic and dedicated teachers and staff, and the students who are so full of potential, compel me to want to continue to serve an active role in the opportunities that are offered in this school district."
"My passion has always been literacy," Logan said. "The school board offers an opportunity to expand my service to a wider audience beyond one-on-one tutoring."
Logan points out the school board adopted a new Whistleblower Policy which protects any employee of the school district, at any level, to come forward and report any act of unethical behavior in the school district.
Phyllis Lewis has ignored RTV6s requests for comment.
Logan and Deckard will face challengers Bill Miller and Ron Dillow in the November school board election.
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