Okla. School Superintendent Files 2nd Lawsuit

May 4, 2009

The superintendent fired in October by the Broken Arrow school board has filed a federal lawsuit concerning his dismissal.

Jim Sisney alleges in the suit he filed last week that the board fired him in retaliation for threatening to investigate and expose what he thought was an improper financial relationship between the district and Air Assurance, a company that provided heating and air conditioning services for the district.

District officials declined to comment Friday about the lawsuit, the second filed by Sisney concerning his firing.

In September, he filed a defamation suit in Tulsa County District Court against seven people, including the three school board members who voted to fire him _ Maryanne Flippo, Sharon Whelpley and Shari Wilkins _ and Air Assurance owner Mike Rampey. Last month, a judge dismissed some of the claims in the state lawsuit but allowed others to go forward.

On April 20, the Broken Arrow school board approved a contract with the state Auditor and Inspector’s Office to review allegations of misappropriation of funds, similar to the claims made by Sisney in the federal lawsuit. The allegations to be looked into were made in a taxpayer demand letter.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation also is investigating allegations of improper business dealings between the district and Air Assurance.

Sisney claims in the federal lawsuit that the district breached his contract and violated his right of due process. He also claims the board engaged in a “pattern of retaliatory behavior and pressure” toward him before his firing.

Sisney was named as the interim superintendent for Sperry schools on Tuesday. His attorney, Gary Richardson, said the filing of the federal lawsuit two days after Sisney’s hiring in Sperry is merely a coincidence.


Information from: Tulsa World, http://www.tulsaworld.com

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