APN Obtains Alisias Statement on Role in APS Debacle

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APN obtained the following statement that Alisias sent to some media outlets regarding his role in the APS debacle.  Questions had been raised by SACS regarding El’s improper procurement of Alisias.

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Our firm prides itself on the principles we bring to our relationships with the public, the media, and our clients. We take seriously any suggestion that we have missed the highest standards of integrity that we established for our employees and for our work.

I find it both inexplicable and disconcerting that the SACS report condemned the whistle-blowing activities that made the underlying offenses public yet it remained silent on: 

* The root cause of the Board’s 5-4 split; i.e., a massive, organized cover-up of alleged cheating in several APS schools.
* The Court’s endorsement of the relevant actions taken by the majority in response to the original wrongdoing, specifically that changing the leadership of the Atlanta Board of Education “…was lawful and did not violate the 2003 Charter…,” and
* Withholding from the public the Porter Report, an independent report that confirms test results were irregular.

The following addresses your questions:

I. Compensation for services rendered falls into two categories, The Lawsuit and Individual Elected Officials

A. The Lawsuit – 

i. Lightmas & Delk, the legal representatives of four INDIVIDUAL Board members who were sued by other Board members, contracted ALISIAS to provide communication support services during the trial period (10/22/2010 – 11/19/2010). 

ii. ALISIAS submitted an invoice to Lightmas & Delk for service rendered. 

iii. Lightmas & Delk submitted their invoice to APS for payment (included a request for reimbursement for their out-of-pocket expenses e.g., our services). 

iv. Upon receiving the Lightmas & Delk invoice, APS DISALLOWED reimbursement for ALISIAS fees for services. 

v. APS has not reimbursed Lightmas & Delk for any of the fees related to ALISIAS’ work nor has APS compensated ALISIAS directly.

B. Individual Elected Officials –

i. Our work was provided to individual elected officials and NEVER to the Board of Education. 

ii. ALISIAS never expected compensation for our services provided to the individual elected officials. 

iii. Each year ALISIAS engages in pro bono work for public causes, as do many other companies. We viewed this as a community service contribution. 

iv. We do not have a business relationship with APS nor do we represent any interests who have or who are seeking business with APS or the Board of Education. 

II. “…(P)ersonally stag(ing) media events, without Board approval or knowledge”

A. ALISIAS provided pro bono services to individual elected officials and we had conversations with members of the media, you included. This activity could be loosely described as a “staged media event.” 

B. Effective communication with the public and media during a hailstorm of accusations and threats is an important obligation of elected officials. 

C. Our services were provided pro bono and at no cost to the public.

Finally, ALISIAS was never contacted by the authors of the report regarding these or any other issues.

Rick White

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