Trails in the Sand by Peter Traceit, the Street Detective
The messiness around public records requests is keeping Traceit in the sand tunnels. Trying to decipher the 5Ws of the requests has The Street Detective in a sand tornado not created by Ian, but by the Broward Principals and Assistants Association (BPAA).
Traceit is told that public records requests are pursuant to statutory authority and documents for the requests must be turned over timely. However, Street Detective is learning from the trail that Superintendent Vickie Cartwright has no respect for even statutory requirements.
More than five months ago, the Broward Principals and Assistant Association (BPAA) had its attorney, Christopher Whitelock, to request public records mostly centered around Anna Fusco of the Broward Teachers Union (BTU) and Jillian Haring, a vendor from PCG who formerly worked for both the BTU and Broward Schools.
The litany list of public records requests from the BPAA to Broward Schools are as follow: any and all text messages of Anna Fusco to the Broward County School District from January 1 to present on school board issued devices and private devices; any and all text messages of Anna Fusco to the Broward Schools Chiefs Department Heads from January 1 to present on school board issued devices and private devices; phone records for Anna Fusco for the past two years; any and all text messages of Jillian Haring to any and all Broward School Board members for the past four years; all payments to or on behalf of Anna Fusco for the last four years; all payments to the Florida Retirement System (FRS) on behalf of Anna Fusco for the last five years; all payments to the FRS on behalf of Jillian Haring when she was an employee of the District but working for the BTU; Anna Fusco’s complete personnel file, including any discipline records, discipline records should include all complaints; all investigations into the alleged behavior of Jillian Haring to include allegations of inappropriate acts at a school with a male employee, communications on this case, any computer information on this case, the allegations of the case, statements, audio statement or recordings; all records concerning any increase in pay for Anna Fusco since 2016; all witness statements that are complaints about Anna Fusco or BTU representatives over the last five years and every document submitted to Legal, the Employee Relations department, the Special Investigative Unit (SIU), and the Office of School Performance and Accountability (OSPA); any and all emails and text messages from Anna Fusco to the Broward County Schools Superintendent from January 1, 2019 to the present on both school board issued devices and private devices; any and all emails and text messages to Anna Fusco from the Broward County Schools Superintendent from January 1, 2019 to the present on both school board issued devices and private devices; any and all emails and text messages from Anna Fusco to any and all Broward County Schools Chief Department Heads from January 1, 2019 to the present on both school board issued devices and private devices; any and all emails and text messages to Anna Fusco from any and all Broward County Schools Chief Department Heads from January 1, 2019 to the present on both school board issued devices and private devices; any and all emails and text messages from Anna Fusco to any and all Broward County School Board Members from January 1, 2019 to the present on both school board issued devices and private devices.
What a sandstorm!
While the request is plentiful, it has been at least five months since the request was made and Traceit is told that there is no trace of one piece of the request being dug from the dirt. According to sources, Cartwright is employing an elaborate cover up through a grubby refusal to hand over the information.
As evidenced by the public records request, it seems the BPAA was hot on the trail of corruption with Fusco and Haring long before the recent news headlines, and Peter Traceit is being told that Super Cartwright is desperate to cover it up and make the dirty sand go away. To scrub it clean, it is alleged that Super Cartwright summoned about five principals to her office to discuss this public records request and demand for them to convince Lisa Maxwell of the BPAA to pull back the request. Maxwell was reportedly not invited to the meeting, though she heads the BPAA that represents school principals. Fusco, the president of the BTU and Haring were at this hour-long meeting. Currently, Haring was an employee of PCG, not BTU or BCPS. And this is not the only time that it is alleged Haring participated in BCPS business that is outside the scope of her relationship with the district as a PCG vendor representative. It appears that the details gathered from this request might expose this and it may be far from just unethical; it could border on criminal.
Street Detective Traceit has questions, and the answers need to be dug up.
What dirt could the text messages and emails between and among Fusco, Board members, Chiefs, and the Superintendent reveal?
What details around FRS, salaries, finances, or contracts could have been discussed among these parties that they desperately want to remain a secret?
What specific discipline or accusations are in the files of Fusco and Haring that they don’t want revealed and why?
What are the details around conversations about staff and the organizational chart can be found in these communications?
What is Super Cartwright, President Fusco, former and present Board members, and former and present staff so afraid of that not one grain of sand in this public records request has been released?
Inquiring minds would like to know and Street Detective, Peter Traceit will continue dragging the sand for clues.