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Mike Harris Part 3 – Investigatio

Michael Morris – In Focus

This is where I usually do my version of a sarcasm monolog. I don’t have one today aside from the title that is not misspelled. You’ll get it later. Alamogordo Times contacted PED after reports surfaced that persons were having difficulty obtaining public records. In response we were treated to an angry and defensive man. I suppose I would be defensive as well if I conducted investigations in the way Paul Calderon, Program Director, Educator Ethics Bureau, NM PED does. In fact they would throw you out of the Don Adams fan club for doing investigations the way he does, but I digress.

Unsatisfied at the evasiveness regarding the decision letter and Stay in the case I took it upon myself to see if I could make sure we were both on the same page regarding his “investigation” by email, so I sent a summary. Since this concerns the entire community I was asked by diverse parties to share the email with my readers, so here it is.

Mr Calderon:

It is unfortunate that you chose the path of dishonesty with my reporter last week, but that seems to be par for the course with you. An examination of your investigation and statements regarding it indicates you are a liar. Before you go blathering off with that smart mouth you exhibited last week I promise I will prove it. It appears you concealed not only material facts, but also agreements to overlook substantiated ethical violations by other certified personnel in order to obtain their testimony. It looks like you have taken a direction that I will contend renders you unfit to continue as an arbiter of ethics. What happens in the future is entirely of your making.

The first clue that you were dishonest came when the NCA was served. Owing to the fact that several of the charges, even if true, were not within the jurisdiction of the department the obvious question was why? Having vetted Harris before this all began I was familiar with the events of Royse City. It seemed your version of the facts were set to address a meaning of “following” that means any time after rather than as a result of or in close proximity in time. In this case you just walked by the presumed then, at your request, investigative results from TEA, public record, public statements by the board that all support Harris in order to argue the meaning of the agreement. Your partner Berlin no doubt neglected, when advising the Secretary of the law, to explain the effect of the result of the TEA investigation as a matter of law, did not relate that you had initiated an investigation of the acting Superintendent for the purpose of making your case. When you got the final word from TEA you ignored it. Does the Secretary approve of the tactic of your office initiating investigations in other states accusing administrators of misconduct because they do not support your version of events? I don’t think she knows you do these things, but we know you do, don’t we?

You knew that Harris was no longer a suspect after the police announcement Sept.7 and the resignation happened 3 weeks after this. You knew the board made it clear, publicly, that this was not the reason for the termination back in July, 3 months prior to the resignation, but you seem to be on some sort of crusade. The problem is you have lost your compass sir. In order to satiate your need to make your case you have lied and misrepresented material facts, made accusations against administrators in other states and declared the TEA a repository for defective records. And yet you have the temerity to sit in judgment of others. There is something wrong with that.

Prior to this matter coming up there were already concerns in the local legal community regarding the hiring of Tony Korwin as a manager at PED after he admitted to using his position at APS to read emails between parents and board members in a complaint to the AG regarding the hiring of Harris that was also found not a violation. Most people would find a guy who embezzled and admitted it was not a trustworthy individual, but PED snapped him up right away after his conduct cost him his job here. Now I want to know why? Your department seems to be very strict on ethical violations in this case splitting all kinds of hairs to prove the case, but stealing emails qualifies you to be an instructional program manager? That doesn’t make much sense, now does it?

Next we watched the plea bargain of Kathleen Wallis. Berlin relates in an email that her testimony was not all that important. That begs the question of why she was given immunity for her disclosure of student information to Karl Anderson and subsequent false testimony regarding the manner of release. Even after your office had substantial evidence that Wallis had directly emailed what became the “article” subject of the action against Wallis it was buried. Called a 4.0 student a drunk mentioning that this was an exchange student staying with Harris then lied about sending the email claiming it was the result of an overheard conversation. The problem is there are only about 30 words difference between the email and the “article” yet she still teaches.

Then there was Susan, the one who stole Eddie Kilmer’s personnel file and handed it to Anderson which really lit off this witch hunt. Yet you placed her on the stand to testify when you knew she was a thief.

This paints a picture of not only an unethical investigator, but a criminal as well. You have shown you have no regard for the rule of law or even common decency. We then must wonder what is your motivation to act in this way? While some would argue that perhaps you have some sort of obsessive disorder I think it is much more base than that. Documents in our possession indicate the currency Ms. Wallis has used to secure the cooperation of men at other stages of this crusade. Given your morals I will not be surprised to find the same true of you.

It is little short of amazing that Berlin gave an interview with Lord Karl Anderson, yes he changed his name. Like you said, the record is closed until it is final. Was that ethical? The one thing that makes people wonder about what is going on around here is the interview which Brown admitted was improper. If Anderson was a legitimate reporter people might not wonder, but this is the guy who was fired for plagiarism, was convicted of perjury, had forged his degrees and said publicly, including on a local radio station 5 days after he began intimacies with Wallis, that he would get Harris fired. That was roughly 2 weeks before the Kilmer story. That is what people here remember. Now we see an investigator ignoring substantial evidence in favor of a version of events that just does not fit reality.

It makes sense that the Secretary know what is done in her name and “who done it”, don’t you think? You have crippled this school district for 2 years with this witch hunt. Now it is time for you to stand investigation and public disclosure. There is an answer to why you have done this and I assure you I will find it. Certainly it had nothing to do with your job or the good of the schools or you would not have shielded Wallis, nor would Berlin have given an interview discussing the substance of your allegations with her lover.

By the way, that comment you made to my reporter about it being what Harris did in TX that caused this. Do you have any proof whatsoever that Harris was guilty of any offense civil or criminal or were you just slandering him? She will be asking the Secretary to release the evidence you have that supports this. Yes, it is about to get exciting sir.

Michael Morris
Alamogordo Times

If I missed anything let me know.

Here. Let’s have a contest. Dinner for 2 at your choice of Otero County restaurant to the first person to correctly identify which 2 newspaper articles the conclusions of the PED’s latter day Paul Drake are based in their entirety. How can a man have no shame at all?