Controversy is brewing in the Community School Corporation of Southern Hancock County over a secret taping and a federal lawsuit.
School board member Meghan Morrison is accused of unethical conduct for secretly recording a conversation with Superintendent James Halik during a 2011 meeting in his office.
Such a recording is legal, under Indiana law.
Morrison, who has been a vocal opponent against the superintendent, started recording school-related business when was elected two years ago.
"It was for my protection," said Morrison. "When you are intimidated and bullied, you are in a constant state of fear and intimidation."
Morrison said she contacted the superintendent to ask for the meeting but was shocked by what Halik said.
"Every person who helped me get elected, he said vile and vicious things about," said Morrison about the recording. "He maliciously maligned Jeanne Plummer."
Plummer, a school bus driver, filed a federal lawsuit against the school district in December 2011 alleging she was fired for speaking out publicly against the school district.
Morrison provided the secret audio recording to Plummer, a decision that's drawn harsh criticism from fellow school board members.
"You met with Mr. Halik and secretly recorded that conversation," said school board president Bill Niemier at a board meeting Monday night. "Your conduct was not illegal, but certainly as unethical as a person could be."
"I didn't say anything unethical," responded Morrison.
Morrison also drew heat for requesting the school district provide her an attorney for a deposition.
Morrison has been named as a fact witness in Plummer's federal lawsuit against the school corporation.
"That request is about as frivolous as any request could be," said Niemier.
Morrison responded, "I'm so glad you're not my attorney."
"And so am I," said Niemier.
The board declined Morrison's request to provide an attorney.
Morrison declined to answer questions in an Aug. 20 deposition from the school district's attorney, Mike Padgett.
Morrison has now hired attorney Jennifer Auger of Franklin.
"I know I did nothing wrong and the truth needed to come out," said Morrison, who said she plans to speak at future depositions. "I have proof of (Halik) being unethical, and I have black-and-white proof. It's not my word against his; it's the truth."
Halik declined to discuss the recording or the lawsuit and directed RTV6 to his attorney, who was out of town Thursday for the Labor Day weekend.
Plummer's attorney, Ryan Sink, also declined to comment.
The lawsuit is still ongoing.
Niemier declined to speak with RTV6 on camera, but via phone said Morrison has a personal agenda and vendetta against Halik.
"It's an unfortunate situation, and one we'll do our best with," said Niemier. "There are four out of five board members who are prepared and do our best for the school district."
Niemier said the school board will continue to work for the betterment of children.
In the meeting, Niemier indicated they have no recourse to remove Morrison from the board.
"If what you did rose to the level that we could remove you from this board, that request would have already been filed," said Niemier at Monday's board meeting.
Morrison said the community deserves someone better than Halik.
"I don't have an axe to grind, I don't have an agenda," said Morrison. "My agenda is the truth. And these children deserve someone better."
Morrison said the audio recording of Halik is in the hands of her attorney. They have not yet released the tape publicly.
Complaint: Plummer v. Southern Hancock County Community School Corp.
Copyright Copyright 2012 by
All rights reserved.
This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.