Rhee’s next public kerfuffle


WaPo’s DC Wire blog has an item that we’re likely going to hear more about in short order: the LA Times has gotten their hands on a congressional report about the firing of Inspector General Gerald Walpin in June. In it is information about conversations Michelle Rhee had with Walpin last year about Kevin Johnson, who she got engaged to very recently.

The LA Times item leads with the fact that Rhee vouched for Johnson as a “good guy,” but that doesn’t seem likely to burn her much unless she was romantically involved with him at the time and didn’t disclose it. I’d hope my darling wife would speak at least a little positively about me if asked; if the person she’s talking to doesn’t take that connection into account then that’s their bad judgment, not hers.

What seems like a more curious bit is down at the bottom, when it discusses the history of Johnson’s problems with allegations of inappropriate behavior with two volunteers and one student at his charter school, St. Hope Academy. The LA Times says that the report mentions Rhee intervening with a teacher at St Hope who would leave “a few months later,” according to the LA Times, in June 2007.

It’s not all that odd, though, since that timeline puts the interaction before she was identified as our new chancellor on July 12th. At that time Rhee would still have been CEO and President of the organization she started and ran before coming here, The New Teacher Project. The LA Times also doesn’t mention that at that time Rhee was on the St Hope board of directors, making it reasonable for her to be involved in things happening at the school.

The only actual oddity I found was that St Hope’s announcement of Rhee’s coming to DC indicated she would continue to serve on the board. She clearly left – she’s not listed on the 2009-2010 form – but she either resigned very quickly or they jerked up their record-keeping. Her name is not listed on their IRS form 990, which requires listing the names of everyone who who served as a board member for any amount of time between Jul 1 2007 through Jun 30 2008. She does appear on the 2006 form.

I’d say the only issue for Rhee is whether it turns out she’s associating with questionable people, or to be more precise, planning on marrying him. There’s some interesting material in these resignation letters from board members who left St Hope earlier this year, and at least one doesn’t paint a positive picture of Johnson.

Well I used to say something in my profile about not quite being a “tinker, tailor, soldier, or spy” but Tom stole that for our about us page, so I guess I’ll have to find another way to express that I am a man of many interests.

Hmm, guess I just did.

My tastes run the gamut from sophomoric to Shakespeare and in my “professional” life I’ve sold things, served beer, written software, and carried heavy objects… sometimes at the same place. It’s that range of loves and activities that makes it so easy for me to love DC – we’ve got it all.


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