Saturday, August 13, 2016

Dismissal Of John Rhines' Lawsuit Against Martha Sageman And The Bridgeport Spaulding School Board

I suspect that most residents in Bridgeport have either been following this lawsuit or at least heard talk spread around Bridgeport about it.  I just recently found out that the lawsuit(s) were dismissed by the courts back in May 2016.  I have yet to see any news reported by any of the local news outlets about the dismissal.  I can understand where the larger news organizations have so many stories to cover that they were not aware of the dismissal.  I thought perhaps that our smaller local news, the Birch Run/Bridgeport Herald, would have reported the dismissal but I have gone back through my issues going all the way back to April and could not find the story.  Hopefully they will be posting it soon so that all Bridgeport Spaulding residents are aware of the facts.  I won't try to recap all the accusations included in these lawsuits.  You can get most of what the accusations were about just by reading the documents I will be posting here.
I went to the Saginaw County Courthouse and took a look at the court files for these lawsuits.  There are two huge files.  I had a limited amount of time I could spend there that day and it was no where near enough to even begin to go through all the legal paperwork.  There looks to be some fascinating reading in those files.  I will be going back to review more of the case files when I have enough time to do so.  I got copies of some of the documents that I think will give a good view of the arguments against the lawsuits.  Obviously those arguments won because the suits were dismissed by the courts.  John Rhines had made some serious accusations and from what I read in the documents, John Rhines own testimony, he did not have one single piece of evidence to back any of his accusations up.  Not one piece of evidence or one single witness to back up his claims.  His speculations, his accusations, caused a lot of turmoil here in the Bridgeport School District  at a time when this district did not need that kind of trouble.  He sounded very convincing when he got up and spoke at the school board meetings with his claims, in the TV interviews, in the interviews with the news organizations.  I believed his claims.  Perhaps if I was better versed in the law and particularly these claims, I would have questioned them from the beginning.  After reading these documents, I am not sure what grounds he thought he had to even make the accusations.  It appears to be just speculation and hearsay with no proof.

The first pages I am posting here are showing the date of the dismissal, May 26th, 2016.  The lawyers for both sides signed a "Stipulation For Dismissal" document on May 17th and the judge signed the "Order Of Dismissal" on the 26th.
To view these pages in a larger more readable format just click on each image.

The next 8 pages I am posting are the "Defendants' Motion for Summary Disposition".  Basically this is the argument by the defendants to have the lawsuit dismissed.  This specifically deals with the accusations that Marti Sageman had any hand in the separation agreement with Jennifer McDonald, that there was no wrongdoing in the dismissal of Jennifer McDonald, that Marti Sageman did not benefit in any way from the dismissal, that Marti Sageman did not misappropriate funds, that the school board members did not engage in a coverup of any supposed misappropriation or supposed wrongdoing.  Obviously the defendants arguments won.  If you read these documents you will see why they won.

The last 4 pages I will share here are another "Motion for Summary Disposition" by the defendants.  This one specifically deals with the accusation that the school board violated the open meetings act.  And again it does not appear that John Rhines had any proof of his claims.

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