Kallenberg Gets Her Day In Court. Can The News Sentinel Reporter Get It Right? Yes She Can.

UPDATE: This morning April 3, 2007 the story has been updated and the trial date is less than a year away, March 17, 2008. Just in time for it to be a political issue for individuals having to run for re-election to the School Board on February 5, 2008.

This story is on the News Sentinel website this afternoon. The first glaring error is the reporter citing the trial date as March 17. If that is the date and it is in 2008, clarification would be appreciated. If the trial has already occurred and the Sentinel is running this far behind then when will we read about the trial?

So let’s get this right. The taxpayers are paying for two Attorneys. The staff Attorney and the infamous Robert Watson that sued Knox County on behalf of the School Superintendent in early 2001. So he is being paid as the staff Attorney is compensated as well. Attorney Watson informed the court that a settlement may be worked out. So, why is a private Attorney representing Knox County if a settlement is going to be proposed? You can bet on this. Whatever settlement Knox County reaches with Kallenberg and Issacs. It will be sealed and we the taxpaying public will NEVER know the harm Lindsey and Oaks have caused to the public treasury.

From what has appeared on this case in the public domain, it does appear that the taxpayers will be compensating Kallenberg. It should not be the taxpayers but Superintendent Lindsey and Russ Oaks compensating the taxpayers for any damages awarded to Kallenberg. They are the individuals that put it out in the public domain of “questionable contact with a student” making it look like this good educator and administrator was something other than a good educator and administrator.

Maybe this case is what the School Board Chair meant when she said they needed to rid the school district of the former Superintendent “before something bad happens.”

Here is the story as it appears on the website.

Kallenberg lawsuit trial date set
By LOLA ALAPO, alapol@knews.com April 2, 2007

A federal judge today encouraged lawyers for school officials and a Powell High School administrator to settle, but he set a trial date.

Senior U.S. District Judge Leon Jordan set a March 17 trial date for Kim Kallenberg’s case against Knox County.

Present were Kallenberg’s attorney, Greg Isaacs, Marty McCampbell, deputy Knox County law director, and attorney Robert Watson who sat with McCampbell.

“I think it would be in everyone’s best interest if we schedule the case for trial,” Jordan said. “Hopefully it wouldn’t have to go to trial.”

Jordan asked the attorneys how long they thought a trial might take. Isaacs said about two days.

Watson said it might take longer.

“This is special, your honor, and I think it’ll take at least a week.”

Jordan then asked about the likelihood of a settlement.

“I would say possibility of a settlement is fair?”

To that, Isaacs replied, “I’d probably say unknown would be accurate.”

Kallenberg, a Powell High assistant principal, filed a lawsuit against the county claiming she’s been the victim of slander, discrimination and retaliation.

She’s been on administrative leave with pay since July 14 pending the outcome of a Knox County school system investigation of allegations she had a sexual relationship with a student and tampered with grades last year.

The county already has cleared Kallenberg of the charge that she had an inappropriate relationship with Joseph Lee Smith.

The investigation into grade changing is ongoing.

Kallenberg has always maintained that she had done nothing wrong. She and Principal Diane

Psihogios have been on administrative leave with pay since July while school officials continue their investigation.

More details as they develop online and in Tuesday’s News Sentinel.
Lola Alapo may be reached at 865-342-6376.

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