Tuesday, December 20, 2016

C. J. Huff received his last check from R-8 taxpayers today

Three weeks after the hiring of new Superintendent Melinda Moss, the Joplin R-8 School District is finally rid of the man she is replacing.

Though C. J. Huff has not done any work for the district since June 30, 2015 (except for helping with the multi-million dollar P1 lawsuit, created by his desperate, but unsuccessful, effort to get the new Joplin High School opened on time in 2014), he has continued collecting his paycheck on the 20th of each month.

The last paycheck was deposited into his account today.

Huff's time would have already been up had it not been for a decision by the R-8 Board of Education in February 2015 to add another year to Huff's contract. The board, which included Huff loyalists Mike Landis, Randy Steele, Anne Sharp, Shawn McGrew, and Lynda Banwart, added a third year to the remaining two years of Huff's contract despite knowledge that Huff was going to be heavily criticized in a state audit and was almost certain to lose his majority support at the April 2015 election.

After the election of Jeff Koch and Jennifer Martucci, Huff, who had attacked Martucci in Facebook postings in an attempt to keep her from being elected, made little effort to work with the new board, insulting board members Debbie Fort and Martucci during meetings and refusing to turn over documents to board members, instead requiring them to fill out Sunshine Law requests and pay for the materials.

Huff finally agreed to "retire," but not before milking the taxpayers for everything he could get. With Landis and Steele fighting for him, Huff was able to get full pay through the end of 2016, $50,000 to serve as a consultant on the lawsuits he had brought on during his tenure, primarily the P1 action, and he was able to write his own recommendation letter, which included the revelation that when Huff came to Joplin, the community was apathetic and did not care about education, and then listed his successes, especially with Bright Futures.

Part of the deal also requires that no one on the board say anything bad about Huff, nor he about anyone on the board.

Despite his generous severance agreement with the district, Huff was still not done setting up obstacles to the board members who had forced the vote on his retirement.

Documents obtained by the Turner Report through a Sunshine Law request, showed that Huff, Landis, Jasper County Commissioners John Bartosh and Darieus Adams, and Prosecuting Attorney Dean Dankelson conspired to throw the selection of a board member to replace former Joplin Police Chief Lane Roberts from the board elected by Joplin R-8 patrons to the County Commission.

On May 27, 2015, one day after Randy Steele resigned, claiming that he was receiving threats from people who wanted Jim Kimbrough appointed to the board to replace Roberts, Huff,  aware 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 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 Steele and 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 Darieus Adams.

In a June 3, 2015 e-mail from Landis to Bartosh and Dankelson, Landis wrote "We voted in April to accept Lane Roberts' resignation from the Joplin BOE. Thanks, Michael D. Landis." 

From that e-mail, it was evident Landis had sent Dankelson word that he, 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.

Dankelson responded the following day in a message that was 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.
The County Commission, in a meeting held without public notice, decided to appoint Sallie Beard, Gary Nodler, and Ron Gatz.

The scheme served to delay the necessary removal of many of Huff's administrative team and thwarted decisions the public had shown it favored with their votes in both the 2014 and 2015 elections.

The district has spent the last year and a half trying to pull itself out of the academic and fiscal mess that Huff and his former assistant superintendent Angie Besendorfer created.

That process can continue now without having to send C. J. Huff a hefty paycheck on the 20th of each month.


Randy has a future in the Alt-Left said...

Funny how them Sunshine Act secret-squirrel documents back up Randy Turner's revenge fantasies.

I wouldn't put it past CJ Huff to have started that bad old tornado.

Now that's "investigative journalism" of the finest fake news.

Thank you Randy. You have a future in the Alt-Left.

Concerned citizen said...

Randy it looks like the bitter Huffites are really upset.Please be careful they cannot handle the truth or provide public governance in an above board manner. It's all about their personal agendas not the publics.

Watched Events in Real Time said...

Fantasies ???
All the board meetings were live on Jet TV for public viewing (and presumed on video tape). The documents were provided through the Sunshine Act: Facts not fake news.
Randy, keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Now, he's gone. Can you find something else to write about???

Anonymous said...

The Globe has an article this morning about more dubious religious influence at NMS. It seems the district is headed for another lawsuit without Huff.

Anonymous said...

Now, he's gone. Can you find something else to write about???

The wounds he and Besendorfer inflicted on the district and its (mostly) innocent charges linger. In a recent comment in another topic I referred to "scars", but thinking more about it now, for the most part we haven't even reached that point, the district is still bleeding teachers, test scores, is very possibly facing economic hard times if FEMA doesn't approve of enough of the "might as well" spending, Mr. "might as well" is still the CFO, etc. etc. etc.

So, no, for those of us who are capable of learning from history, we still have to spend some time focusing on how the district go into this mess so that those specific problems can be fixed.

6:20 AM, why do you want the district to continue failing the children with who's education it is charged by ignoring the causes?

And I'll add, what's up with this sudden infestation of ankle biters? Something changed, even if it's just people on holiday with nothing better to do....

Unknown said...

I do not have a dog in this fight; however, I deplore "anonymous " blogs.

If a fellow is too cowardly to sign his name to his opinion, than it's worth what he's worth---0!!

Anonymous said...

So were the Founders who wrote the Federalist Papers cowards?

There's times to be anonymous and let your words speak for themselves, and times to put your John Hancock on paper.

For this blog, too many contributors would have been subject to retaliation if they'd used their True Names, and that includes every resident of Joplin when we were going after Rohr and company, and it's I'm sure no accident the Joplin Globe uses Facebook which requires True Names.

Most of the rest of us do the same because it's the custom of the blog, and among other things helps those who are subject to retaliation to anonymously swim in a sea of mostly anonymous postings. Our host certainly doesn't have any problem with this, then again, from his career in journalism he knows the importance of this concept.

Randy said...

It is easy to say that people should be willing to put their names to their comments, when the person making that statement has nothing to fear from the powers that be. U have always found the most important thing about the comment is not who signs it or who submits it anonymously, but its content. Some of the greatest truth have come from anonymous comments, while some comments that have names attached to them have been completely worthless. When I say that, Harvey, I am not referring to your comments. While I often do not agree with them, I appreciate that you are writing honestly and sharing what you believe. For many of those who read this blog, the past several years have been ones in which their professional lives could be damaged in an instant if they expressed their beliefs openly. The Joplin R-8 School District, during the Huff years, fired one person simply because they suspected she was providing information to the Turner Report and commenting anonymously. Another teacher was forced to resign because of all the pressure that was placed upon her for the same reasons. Ironically, neither of those people ever provided me with any information and have told me that they never posted any anonymous comments. With that kind of atmosphere, it is easy to imagine the fear that anyone had who posted anonymously, praying that no one ever suspected that they had done so. And it was not just R-8 employees. Parents told me that they posted anonymously because they were afraid Huff and his followers might cause problems for their children if they opposed him openly. While I am unaware of any instances in which that happened, the fear was real and the examples that had already been set by the way my character was assassinated, the attacks and lies that Huff used against Jennifer Martucci prior to the 2015 board election, and what happened to my two friends simply because they were suspected of helping me, it is understandable that they feared retaliation.

I welcome all comments, signed or anonymous, as long as they remain within the bounds of decency. My readers are intelligent enough to know which ones are worthwhile.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize who makes comments that are factual and those that are made in angry denial. Huff is gone and I'm sure the majority of people in Joplin thank their lucky stars everyday for that. Thank you Randy for having the courage to do what you do. I'm one of many who enjoy or informative blogs. It's nice to see what is really going on in our communities when you have so kindly remove the rose colored glasses from which most see things through. Stay strong Randy and keep up the good work that our local papers refuse to do. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Anonymous Bed-wetters have something to say said...

Absolutely right, Randy.

Why, if the past -- and current -- board members had been alert, they never would have hired you in the first place. Now that everyone knows about you, nobody is stupid enough to hire a back-biter like yourself who you will trash out on your blogs or other fictions.

And that goes as well for the sundry back-biters, bed-wetters and special snowflakes who eat up all of your slop and beg for more. Who needs it?

The comments section is why three-quarters of the readers read your drivel. That and because sometimes you do dish out some real good dirt even when you are not all "ate up" like you are with CJ Huff and this Angie heifer. CJ Huff shall live forever rent free like a pea in a pod within the super-mini crawl space of your "mind" & we love it being that way.
Don't stop obsessing Randy. It will lead you to an early grave

Unknown said...

The Federalist is a collection of 85 articles and essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay promoting the ratification of the United States Constitution. All 85 seem to me to be signed and identified

Agreed Hamilton did receive reprisal--killed in duel.

John Jay had illustrious career in US Government, and Madison, whose papers( notably 51) had the best and most important, went on to become President of these United States of America.

Anonymous said...

DISCLAIMER: My comments are not intended to defend any one person or situation. My intent is to ask questions and allow the blog host the opportunity to answer without attacking, or perhaps even provide him an idea for future posts.

When does providing a play-by-play rewind of each action become old news and it's time to turn the attention on the more up to the minute happenings? For example, no issue with the post about Huff receiving his final payout, in my opinion it was a FYI post and well timed. Was it necessary to explain in such great detail why. You posted it many times over and it is the same rehash over and over again. I still believe this is why your credibility takes such a large hit, the agenda against those who have supposedly wronged you is blatantly obvious and takes away from your legitimate reporting efforts.

Additional question for Harvey, speaking of anonymity, when are we going to get an update from your meeting last Thursday morning? I expected a complete follow up on the discussion.

Steve Holmes said...


I, too, have wondered about the sudden infusion of anger into this neighborhood. I guessed it was other people like me who are tired of having artificial corporate Christmas cheer shoved down our throats and need a place to grumble about the world.


Where did Randy lie? Three examples. Or are you just upset that he's telling the truth. Look at how often he backs up his writing with links to articles or court documents. Throwing around insults doesn't require you to prove anything.

As for bed-wetting, though, I stopped when I was 37, thank you!

Randy said...

To Anonymous 2:02, I can understand why you might feel that the additional information on this post was unnecessary, so let me take you through the thought process I use as I put together the post. Obviously, the most important part of the post was the information that C. J. Huff received his last paycheck from the district. After that, I am writing for several different groups of readers. The Turner Report has picked up hundreds and on some days thousands more readers than it had during the controversies surrounding Huff's retirement and the appointment of three board members by the County Commission. Many of those readers are not aware of everything that happened during that time or are only aware of what they read in the Joplin Globe or heard from other media. With a blog, I have the ability to not only tell the news, but to put it into context, so I try to do that with enough detail so readers can understand why the news is important to them. One of my criticisms of the Globe is that it puts almost nothing into context, fails to explain how and why things happened, and often neglects critical parts of a story because they reflect badly on the newspaper's sacred cows.

On posts where I have provided such background, I have had readers tell me they had forgotten some of the details I mention. On the other hand, I have also had readers tell me they read the first two or three paragraphs and then skip the rest.

Those who worked with me and for me at the Carthage Press can tell you that my news philosophy has always been "Nothing succeeds like excess." By that, I mean I want people to know they will get the complete story here, sometimes more than they want, but always enough that they will have a firm grasp of what has happened.

Judging from the length of this comment, I also use the same philosophy in my comments.

I might add that the length has nothing to do with my problems with C. J Huff or Angie Besendorfer, though it becomes obvious in the stories about them since there have been many. This is the same approach I have used with my reporting on the city, Wallace Bajjali, Bruce Speck, Billy Long and every other topic that I have featured.

Thanks for the opportunity to explain my reasoning.

Subscriber said...

Well explained, Randy. Judging from some of the comments, it is apparent that background and perspective are helpful. Folks may have tuned-in late or forgotten the details. What you do is valued! Happy Holidays to All

Anonymous said...

Harvey Hutchinson said:

The Federalist is a collection of 85 articles and essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay promoting the ratification of the United States Constitution.

That's a word for word quote of Wikipedia's introduction to them, except for two items in parenthesis, here's the full version:

The Federalist (later known as The Federalist Papers) is a collection of 85 articles and essays written (under the pseudonym Publius) by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay promoting the ratification of the United States Constitution.

Anonymous speech is a long and well protected tradition in the US.

Unknown said...

The Pseudonym was chose because it was a 3 man project; never was it to hide any of the identities. When the first started they weren't even sure who would write which, and how to divide the work. Believe me these patriots had done plenty very much in the open that would have had them hung by the neck. Everyone new who comprised Pubulius--- plenty of courage!!!!

Stupid pet tricks for 600 said...

@3:46 PM

Wait Wait Don't tell Me!

What is plagiarism?

Are you kidding me? Wikipedia took Harvey's words and republished them without attribution? All Wikipedia did was add a few parentheses to make it a little harder to identify, and no one was supposed to google?

Harvey, what will you do? WHAT WILL YOU DO!?

Unknown said...

Continue the truth, justice, and the American way.Thats when Trump was elected to make America Great again, Greitens was elected to straighten out Missouri my prayers were answered.

BTW, I do some empathy for Randy's example of children being at the hands I'd abusive school administrators and teachers based on the parents expressing their opinions. That if course can be the case when then parents serve on ( or stand for) the school board.

Going into 2017 we all have all of the hope and optimism in the world. I actually believe Trump can show the leadership in Europe and the Middle East to fix that as well .
Anybody think think the DJ hits 20, 000 this week? Or will that be Trump's inauguration present?

Anonymous said...

Harvey: A warning there WRT to the DJ: the current increase is no doubt due to the impending exit of one of the most anti-business Presidents in history (FDR was perhaps less viscerally so, but was much more effective in imposing his will on the country), but the secular trend is almost certainly due to our near zero percent real interest rates.

Which can't continue forever; right now I think it's more than anything because the dollar is the "least worst" place to put your money. But that fact could change quite drastically, or become less relevant. Meanwhile the PRC is in a colossal economic mess that's in style like our's but taken to 11, Saudi Arabia is under new management which is so far catastrophically bad (although Obama helped with that WRT to their north, but not with his efforts to suppress fracking), the EU is fracturing, we can't re-balance our trade without a commensurate decrease in the Federal budget deficit ... in general, we don't expect smooth sailing ahead....

Unknown said...

We can get rid of the onerous regulations; and develop our own energy. We have the O&G and the coal, putting us way ahead of the rest of the world

The leadership and optimism will go a long way-- I realize there will be bumps along the way

Anonymous said...



What about MAGA by going back to growing lots of hay and oats for draft horses? Well, maybe that is a less stupid idea washing our soil away and polluting our water to grow corn for ethanol.

The CJ Huff Appreciation Thread said...

One thing or 500 reasons we should thank CJ Huff and Angie Besendorfer for is detecting rogue teachers like Randy Turner and firing them or making them "self-deport" theysselfs by the zillions.

So how long has it been since Randy Turner picked up his last paycheck from the R-8 taxpayers? Three or four years?

Well, as the credit-card ad goes, Driving Turner and those like him out of teaching here or elsewhere permanently?


Letting Turner bitch where we get to listen to it until Turner croaks?

Well, not so priceless but still mighty satisfying indeed to some of us.

Keep on kvetching, Turner. It isn't as if you can help yourself as you are waaaay too far gone.

Steve Holmes said...

Actually, 5:24, it seems things have gone Randy's way over the past three years. Consider the people whose deeds he's documented:

Rohr - Gone
Woolston - Gone
Wallace-Bajjali - Gone, Dissolved, Bankrupt
Huff - Gone
Anne Sharp - Gone
Huff's Administration - Disappearing

5:24, you remind me of the hockey fan who shouts, "You suck" at the other team's goalie when his own goalie couldn't stop a tortoise from getting into the net. Enjoy your fantasy world. I'll bet it's nice there.

Unknown said...

Fossil fuels are the plant waste of 200 million years ago. Today we're being good stewards by recycling it for energy to make life great for humanity. This is as as The Lord Almighty intended!!

Anonymous said...

I thought the Christian Right believes the earth and man were just formed about 6,000 years ago? I'm so confused. So God made oil and coal for humans to use, 100s of millions of years ago, to warm themselves and power their cars and pollute their air and water, when the sun and wind are readily accessible if Big Oil would step out of the way and let those resources be developed? Yep. That makes sense, for sure. Thanks for straightening that out, Harvey. I've always wondered how the Right justified the oil business.

Anonymous said...

Oh look! The Grinch is here just in time for Christmas. You can almost hear the Whovilles singing now.

Slither back under your rock. You'll be happier in your natural environment.

Anonymous said...

I'm all in with Harvey and Christians being good stewards by recycling all the coal and oil.

I wonder if Harvey might have left something important out though. I learned something last Sunday (other than there were a couple of more divorces on the way due to wild Christmas parties!). The sermon covered doing the Lord's will by drilling oil and mining coal whenever and wherever we could. He said that we ought to have none of these unholy libtard fuel efficiency rules or anti smoke ordinances of the last 75 years! Like they say: Use it or lose it to some commie who will use it for you!

My pastor said that the most important thing about doing the Lord's will by "recycling" fossil fuels into greenhouse gases is that it allows all those glaciers and ice shields to recycle into another Noah's flood! Did the Lord Almighty really intend all this ice to sit around for centuries unused and unmelted? My pastor didn't think so Probably not anymore than the Lord Almighty intended huge unruly flocks of Carrier Pigeons to fly around crapping on our new King Cab Power Stroker Diesels!

The pastor said it's just like the the song says: If you want to get to heaven, drive a big ass pick'em up truck and roll some coal! The pastor also remembered to thank us for supporting him in fine style with all our tax deductible tithing.