Saturday, October 29, 2016
What the Joplin Globe failed to mention about the R-8 lawsuit settlement
While the Globe article detailed the basics of the lawsuit, there were a number of things that were left out and gave readers an inaccurate perception of what the lawsuit was all about.
There is no mention of the money having to be paid by Tuesday and no mention that the money will have to be taken out of the district's reserve fund.
But the explanation of the lawsuit is where the Globe article completely misleads the readers.
Consider this passage:
But beginning in May 2014, the company began submitting claims seeking additional compensation, alleging that it was entitled to an additional $7,078,464 to cover increased construction costs and what it called "labor inefficiencies," according to documents.
The Globe fails to explain why the P1 Group began submitting those claims.
One name was never mentioned in the Globe article, that of former R-8 Superintendent C. J. Huff. The Globe has access to the court documents, yet it did not consider it important that all of the money the P1 Group says the district owed it came as a result of Huff's insistence that Joplin High School open on time.
The documentation for the lawsuit included e-mails between Huff and P1 that make it clear Huff was aware there would be added overtime, supervision, and extra shifts necessary for what turned out to be an unsuccessful effort to get the building open by the scheduled start time.
The Turner Report, unlike the Globe, shared those e-mails with readers.
The Globe seems to be indulging in one of its favorite hobbies, revisionist history. In an editorial shortly after C. J. Huff "retired," the Globe Editorial Board praised him for bringing so many good people into the district.
Since Huff's retirement and the voters' removal (and voluntary departures) of the board members who enabled Huff, the current board has worked hard to remove these "good people" and repair the damage they did to the district and to students and taxpayers.
The $2.5 million payment to the P1 Group, expensive though it is, is making the best out of another bad situation that Huff and his "good people" got us into.
People who get their news from the Joplin Globe will never know that.