Notwithstanding Art’s request that I take down that post about old news I’ve decided that this is a story that needs to be told to clear the air and erase wrong-headed preconceptions about Art Johnston. After all, I’m in this too. If I’m protecting a raving lunitic my judgement must be called into question. So, for now, consider that I am primarily defending my steadfast support for Art Johnston.
To that end there is one paragraph from the last post that I will bring back to life as it deals squarely with the main contention of this series of posts. That contention? There was a concerted effort by a great many people to bend the truth to portray Art Johnston as a man who should be removed from office. This idea will not die as long as folks like Annie Harala, the only witness to the complete “assault,” continue to maintain that there sure as heck was an assault and if only the public knew what she knew they too would want Art Johnston removed from the Board.
Well, before my readers join Annie at the hips I want to talk about the year Art Johnston suffered through leading up to the fateful East Graduation ceremony. East High School Assistant Principal Cheryl Lein had everything to do with this.
This is the paragraph I’d like folks to concentrate on before I go any further:
“I will now share one more vivid detail for no reason other than my indignation that “Investigator” Mary Rice told the School Board I had been vague about what exactly had happened all those years ago. Rice told us this when I asked her if she, as an attorney, would trust a witness, who was a known liar. I guess my alleged vagueness gave Mary Rice an excuse to evade my question.”
Mary Rice was a critical actor in informing Duluth that Art Johnston was bad news. Its worth remembering that the only evidence that the School Board brought to Federal Court to defend its decision to remove Art Johnston was Mary Rice’s report.
It’s also worth remembering that the District’s case foundered when it became apparent that Judge Davis didn’t accord Mary Rice’s report much weight. He went through all the claims against Art point by point and made it clear that every single one of them was based on an unconstitutional abridgment of Art’s free speech rights. I had been dismissive of the Rice report from the moment I first read it.
I may have more to say about this later tonight so stay tuned.
Next in the Thou Shalt Not series: Out for Blood?