Investigation clears MUSD board president

By Christia Gibbons

January 17, 2012 - 4:36 pm
MUSD Governing Board President Scott Bartle, left, and former board member Geoff Goddard. File photos.

MUSD Governing Board President Scott Bartle has been absolved of any wrongdoing in 10 of 11 allegations made by former board member Geoff Goddard.

The investigation into complaints aimed at discrediting and removing Bartle from the board has surfaced nearly two months after it was submitted to Superintendent Jeff Kleck on Nov. 16.

Goddard filed a complaint with Kleck Oct. 17 claiming that Bartle inappropriately tried to influence staff and board votes in a number of instances.

In all but one charge, Phoenix attorney Janice H. Moore of Fadell, Cheney & Burt found there wasn’t evidence to substantiate any of Goddard’s claims. Throughout the report she used the phrase “no credible evidence” or “no credible or reliable evidence” to back Goddard’s claims.

Moore’s firm is not associated with the school district.

In the one instance, Bartle and two other board members were found to have not filled out a state-required conflict of interest form required of board members. All the MUSD board members have since filled out the form.

Goddard said Tuesday afternoon that he couldn’t respond to the findings of the report until after 5 p.m. Wednesday.

“I don’t have a comment at this time,” he said.

In one email exchange between Goddard and Bartle that appeared in the report, Goddard wrote: “Resign now or risk your future as a businessman and potential community leader.”

Voice messages left for Moore and Kleck were not immediately returned.

Goddard abruptly resigned from the board in November. In September, Kleck resigned as superintendent effective June 30.

Bartle called Goddard’s allegations a witch hunt.

“I think it’s a shame one person’s personal vendetta resulted in a colossal waste of district resources,” Bartle said Tuesday. “But I’m glad that chapter of the district leadership is closed."

“I’m looking forward to working with the new board and district leadership as we continue to progress on the path of excellence for the Maricopa Unified School District,” he said.

Bartle brought up the report at the Jan. 11 governing board meeting.

He apologized to the audience that the matter had not been wrapped up sooner and that it had cost the district $6,000.

“The report was submitted several months ago, but not forwarded to the board,” he said.

The attorney's findings were made public Tuesday. (Click here to read the full report.)
 

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