Broken Arrow School Board Member Speaks Out

Thursday, February 5th 2009, 5:10 pm
By: News On 6

By Ashli Sims, The News On 6

BROKEN ARROW, OK -- A Broken Arrow school board member tired of all of the accusations is pointing the finger at an ex-superintendent.

"I am publicly demanding a stop to this craziness," Maryanne Flippo said.

Meanwhile, the investigation into the school district pushed forward and took a new twist.

Not only did detectives search the district's main administrative building, but the trail has also turned to a suspicious fire early Tuesday morning.

The charred remains and documents littering the area are taped off as part of a police investigation.

One of these storage units was rented by Air Assurance, the company the district is accused of bending competitive bidding rules to hire.

Owner Mike Rampey says his company keeps some old records in the facility, but he's not sure whether any of its property was damaged in the fire.

Flippo says she welcomes an investigation, but she's sick of what she calls mudslinging.

"I am tired of the wild and unproven accusations of corruption that in the last six months have been springing up against the citizens of this community," Flippo said.

Flippo points to former superintendent Dr. Jim Sisney as the ultimate source of the negativity.

She claims Sisney threatened her several times in July with a public relations nightmare for the district if the board didn't do what he wanted.

"It seems very clear to me that the accusations and personal attacks that have been poisoning this community for the last six months are the fulfillment of Dr. Sisney's threats to me of last July," Flippo said.

Flippo is one of three school board named in Sisney's defamation lawsuit.

Sisney says he never threatened Flippo. He says her claims are part of a continuous effort to discredit him and make the conversation about him instead of the district's possible problems with competitive bidding.

"The truth is an absolute defense," Flippo said. "And I'm speaking the truth, so I'm really not afraid of what's going to happen to me."

Flippo also blasted state Rep. Mike Reynolds (R-Oklahoma City).

Reynolds wants to investigate Broken Arrow Schools for paying for unused sick days, which he says is illegal.

Flippo says Reynolds insulted innocent employees and the district did nothing wrong.