Saturday, June 20, 2015
Documents: Landis in contact with Dankelson, Bartosh, Adams days before decision
Documents the Turner Report received following a Sunshine Law request, indicate board member Mike Landis was working with Dankelson and Commissioners Darieus Adams and John Bartosh.
In a June 3 e-mail from Landis to Bartosh and Dankelson, the former board member writes, "We voted in April to accept Lane Roberts' resignation from the Joplin BOE. Thanks, Michael D. Landis." From that e-mail, it appears that Landis had sent Dankelson word that he, Randy Steele, and Roberts had resigned and that he wanted the County Commission to appoint replacements and that the prosecuting attorney had questions about Roberts' resignation.
Dankleson responded the following day in a message that is headed "Subject: Document May 28, 2015," and was sent to Bartosh, as well as Landis:
Would you be able to provide an affidavit to the commission confirming your intent to resign from the Joplin School Board effective May 28 and that you have no intent to withdraw that resignation? I am assuming from this e-mail you have no intent to withdraw it.
Since the Sunshine Law request pertained only to documents received or sent by the three county commissioners, it did not include Landis' original e-mail to Dankelson.
That same day, the Commission received petitions containing 65 signatures asking it to appoint new board members, with the signers including Landis, board member Lynda Banwart, and numerous contributors to the Joplin Progress Committee.
As noted in the June 15 Turner Report, Landis contacted Commissioner Darieus Adams on May 27, the night before he submitted his resignation:
Documents obtained through a Sunshine Law request to the Commission show that on May 27, one day after Randy Steele resigned, Superintendent C. J. Huff, obviously aware that Landis was planning on resigning as well, called the Missouri School Boards Association (MSBA) to find out what was necessary to get the Jasper County Commission to appoint replacement board members.
Susan Goldammer, senior director, employment and labor relations for the MSBA, e-mailed the information to Huff, "Any vacancy occurring in the board shall be filled by the remaining members of the board, except that if there are more than two vacancies at any one time, the county commission, upon receiving written notice of the vacancies shall fill the vacancies by appointment."
Goldammer was unaware that anything was in the works.
"As you can see, it takes three or more vacancies for the county commission to get involved. That has only happened once since I have been at MSBA. The Board will need to fill these two," she said, referring to Randy Steele and Lane Roberts.
Huff forwarded Goldammer's e-mail to Landis at 12:36 p.m. May 27. At 9:38 p.m., Landis forwarded the e-mail to Commissioner Darieus Adams.
Landis resigned the next day, setting the stage for the Commissioners to appoint Gary Nodler, Ron Gatz, and Sallie Beard.