Appeal hearing for former Male High principal David Mike will be - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Appeal hearing for former Male High principal David Mike will be open to public

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Former Male High School principal David Mike. Former Male High School principal David Mike.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Former Male High School principal David Mike has requested that his appeal hearing scheduled for next month be conducted in public.

William Walsh, the attorney representing Mike, said Friday he is going to prove that his client is innocent and that Mike should get his job back from Jefferson County Public Schools.

"We feel the more people who know the facts, the better," Walsh said. "We want to clear up any misunderstandings and give David an opportunity to vindicate himself."

"I have nothing to hide," Mike added."I want the public to know the truth."

The hearing will take place at 9 a.m. on Dec. 9 at the Jefferson County Board of Education. Dec. 10 and 12 are also reserved for the case if the extra time is needed, said Nancy Rodriguez, spokeswoman for the Kentucky Department of Education.

Mike was fired Oct. 28 by Superintendent Donna Hargens for "conduct unbecoming of a teacher."

Two days later, Walsh filed an appeal with the state, stating that Mike didn't do anything wrong and requested a tribunal to hear the case.

Under state law, the three-member tribunal consisting of a teacher, an administrator and a lay person, none of whom reside in Jefferson County, will conduct an administrative hearing and determine whether or not Mike can get his job back.

During the tribunal, both sides will subpoena witnesses to appear and testify in the case and the witnesses will be subject to cross examination by the other side.

Susan Durant with the Kentucky Attorney General's office will serve as the hearing officer. The Kentucky Department of Education is still in the process of identifying those who will serve on the tribunal, Rodriguez said Friday.

The law states that if after the hearing the decision of the tribunal is against termination of the contract, "the suspended teacher shall be paid his full salary for any period of suspension."

If the tribunal rules against Mike, the law says he has the right to appeal the decision to Jefferson Circuit Court.

Mike received his termination letter from Hargens on Oct. 28, nearly a year after testing improprieties were first alleged at Male High School. The letter said Mike did not create a proper testing environment and that he told a teacher to destroy documents.

The district's investigation took place following a separate investigation by the Kentucky Department of Education, which found that several violations occurred at Male High as a result of Mike and two other staffers' failure to "ensure the security" of ACT Compass exams given during the fall of 2013.

The two other Male High staffers involved in the testing scandal, guidance counselor Rhonda Branch and former teacher Debbie Greenberg, are also under investigation by the district.

Greenberg retired from JCPS on July 1, while Branch remains employed but has been reassigned to central office duty pending the outcome of the district's separate investigation.

As of Friday, there has been no determination of final action in Branch's investigation, therefore, a copy of the investigative report requested by WDRB News under the state's open records law, is still preliminary, said JCPS spokesman Ben Jackey.

Mike, Greenberg and Branch still face a proceeding before the Kentucky Educational Standards Board as a result of the Kentucky Department of Education's investigation.

The board, which controls teacher certifications, acts mostly in secret when handling disciplinary cases, so it's hard to determine where exactly the cases against the three educators stand.

Mike was making $141,000 as Principal of Male High School.

Meanwhile, JCPS has posted the Male High principal job. The deadline to apply is Nov. 28.

Reporter Antoinette Konz can be reached at 502-585-0838 or @tkonz on Twitter.

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