The Big Lie

Joseph Goebbels:

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

or in this case the Duluth School Board with a little honest but unwitting help from the Fourth Estate.

March 4, 2015

“The results showed that Johnston demonstrated a personal conflict of interest and abuse of authority in his advocacy of his partner, who is employed by the district, during a work dispute she had. It also revealed that Johnston engaged in behavior deemed to be “abusive,” “threatening” and “intimidating” toward Superintendent Bill Gronseth and former board chairman Mike Miernicki during incidents following a high school graduation ceremony in June.”

February 14, 2015 Senate bill would change school board removal rules – If it passes, it wouldn’t affect the Art Johnston case in Duluth, but he and Harry Welty lobby for bill

The Duluth board voted to oust Johnston in December following the results of an investigation that found behavior by him to be threatening, intimidating and abusive. The independent investigator also found several instances of personal conflict of interest surrounding actions he took on behalf of his partner, who is an employee of the district.

January 7, 2015 Investigation of board member cost $43,000

The investigator, Mary Rice, found, claims of personal conflict of interest, abusive, threatening behavior and violation of several board codes… to have merit.

December 23, 2014 School Board votes to censure Welty

The censure comes on the heels of a decision to remove Johnston from the board. After an investigation by an independent attorney, it was said he abused his authority as a board member; had a personal conflict of interest related to actions he took on behalf of his district-employed partner; and demonstrated abusive and intimidating behavior toward Gronseth and Miernicki

December 17, 2014 Public defends, admonishes Johnston at meeting

The reactions were in response to the results of a four-month investigation of Johnston that followed allegations that he abused his authority as a board member in relation to his advocacy for his district-employed partner, Jane Bushey, and acted inappropriately toward Superintendent Bill Gronseth and board Chairman Mike Miernicki, for example.

December 4, 2014 Johnston could get January Hearing

The board voted Tuesday to move ahead with removal of Johnston following an investigation into several allegations three fellow board members made against him in June. Four of the six allegations were found by an independent investigator to have merit, but the board’s five-page resolution for removal largely points to findings that Johnston chose his personal, private interests over board responsibilities and used his authority as a board member to further those interests, both of which violate the board’s code of ethics.

December 3, 2014 Board votes to oust Johnston

Johnston was accused last June of assault or improper conduct against Superintendent Bill Gronseth and board Chairman Mike Miernicki, abuse of authority, conflict of interest, making a racist or improper comment and violating the board’s code of ethics. An independent investigator from a Twin Cities law firm found merit for four of the six allegations

December 28, 2014 A look at the biggest stories of the year

That decision was based on an independent investigator’s findings that showed Johnston abused his authority, demonstrated a personal conflict of interest in acting on behalf of his district-employed partner where her work was concerned, and was threatening, abusive and intimidating toward Superintendent Bill Gronseth and board chairman Mike Miernicki,

December 18, 2014 letter to the editor badly behaving men besmirch school board

When Duluth School Board member Art Johnston got angry enough at Superintendent Bill Gronseth and at board Chairman Mike Miernicki after a graduation ceremony, he physically assaulted them, according to the findings of an independent investigation.

December 4, 2014 Johnston could get January hearing

The board voted Tuesday to move ahead with removal of Johnston following an investigation into several allegations three fellow board members made against him in June. Four of the six allegations were found by an independent investigator to have merit.

November 30, 2014 Editorial: Johnston can do the right thing and step down

The thoroughly researched and independent investigation into allegations against Duluth School Board member Art Johnston was damning enough.

Johnston was “intimidating,” “threatening,” “abusive ,” “disruptive” and “in public derogation,” an investigator found after viewing video recordings of School Board meetings, listening to audio recordings of other proceedings, interviewing dozens of witnesses and others, and reviewing countless emails and documents.

What’s more, Johnston violated the district’s code of ethics and board policy and was found to have a personal or other conflict of interest at least 14 times. He “abused his authority as a School Board member,” the investigator wrote.

November 29, 2014 School Board to investigate Johnston probe Tuesday

Johnston was accused of conflict of interest, abuse of authority, assault /improper conduct toward Superintendent Bill Gronseth and board Chairman Mike Miernicki, making a racist comment about a staff member and violating the board’s code of ethics. The report found that the allegation of a racist remark couldn’t be substantiated, nor could a conflict of interest as it relates to the board’s policy. That policy focuses on a conflict that could result in financial gain. But the report did conclude that the other allegations had merit.

November 21, 2014 Johnston Probe finds intimidation, abuse

An investigator has found that Duluth School Board member Art Johnston ‘s behavior the night of the East High School graduation in June was “intimidating, threatening and abusive” toward both Superintendent Bill Gronseth and board chairman Mike Miernicki.

The investigator’s report also concludes that several incidents relating to most of the allegations made against Johnston by three fellow board members earlier this year reveal that Johnston has shown a personal conflict of interest in his role as a board member.

November 19, 2014 Changes to Transfer Policy clear hurdle

The investigation against Johnston, for assault and abuse of authority charges, among others, is complete, but has yet to be made public by the district. It began in June.

November 14, 2014

An investigator has found that Duluth School Board member Art Johnston ‘s behavior the night of the East High School graduation in June was “intimidating, threatening and abusive” toward both Superintendent Bill Gronseth and board chairman Mike Miernicki.

November 8, 2014 Board”s Misconduct Probe Completed

The investigation into allegations made against Duluth School Board member Art Johnston has concluded, but the findings have not yet been made available to the public.

The board approved an investigation in June after incidents at the June 4 East High School graduation ceremony where Johnston is accused of either assaulting or showing improper conduct toward Superintendent Bill Gronseth and School Board Chairman Mike Miernicki. The incidents stemmed from a work conflict of his partner, Jane Bushey, who is a paraprofessional for the district.