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Proviso Probe

Friday, August 11, 2006

ETHICS, superintendent candidate will have to resign elected office [D209]

Eric A. King applied to be the superintendent at District 209 which led to a chain of events of the Wednesday Journal discovering that he lived in Tinley Park while being an elected official in Oak Park. See Wednesday Journal (Bill Dwyer).

Apparently Oak Park Township Supervisor F. David Boulanger knew about the dual residency for the last five months.

"It's been a concern, but I've relied on his integrity," said Boulanger.

Relying on King's integrity might not have been a good call.

King holds a position with the Bickert Group. See this page where it tells applicants to send application materials to "Thomas L. Mullins or Eric A. King". When King's application was sent to the District 209 board, at least some members of the board of education did not know King was part of the Bickert Group.

Since the Bickert Group uses a standard set of questions, King would have appeared more prepared than applicants who did not know the questions in advance.

But another possibly is that Board President Chris Welch was informed of King's links to the Bickert Group, but not the opposition board members.

Either scenario reflects negatively on the professionalism and integrity of both King and the Bickert Group. The Bickert Group was called for comment Thursday (yesterday) morning, but did not return the phone call.

26 Comments:

  • You have got to be kidding me. With all the interest in this selection process and yet still some shadiness is involved. Just totally incredible! Either way you look at it, it's troublesome. It is reasonalbe to believe the possiblilty that Welch was fully aware of the duplicitness of this Eric guy and allowed it to go forward just to ensure that Libka would get the position. On the other hand, this totally discredits the trustworthiness of the Birkett Group after all that talk about how respectable their organization is.

    By Anonymous Doesn't look good, at 7:52 PM, August 11, 2006  

  • This news is incredible!

    How could King not disclose his affiliation with the Bickert Group? I would think that somewhere on the application there is at least one section that would allow for this kind of pertinent disclosure. It's typical, given the current business climate, and designed to avoid just such an embarrassing situation.

    As I see it, the Bickert Group was obligated to disclose this information to the board, or at least Welch. To not do so would be to risk tarnishing their own reputation. No individual at the Company would be worth doing this kind of damage to their image. Therefore, I suspect someone associated with Proviso knew. The question is who, and was it just one individual or a select group.

    I have specific reason to believe that Chris Welch was not aware of the situation, at least as recent as several weeks ago. Thus, I'm wondering whether or not another faction was involved in the subtrefuge.

    It would appear that Mr.King was not very forthcoming. And, as the article you cite indicates, there may be a pattern involved here.

    I admit that I don't know anything about Mr. King, although he does appear competent in his performance. It's the pattern, however, that bothers me.

    Perhaps, in the long run, these developments will only move Libka closer to his goal of becoming superintendent. And, no! I don't believe Libka is capable of orchestrating such a sophisticated ploy. It's not his style to be that devious, and too begin with, such a tact would never have been necessary on his part.

    By Anonymous D.R., at 8:42 PM, August 11, 2006  

  • King was never a serious contender to begin with. Even he knew that.

    And though test scores throughout his district rose while he was at the helm, he'd been ineffective in achieving successful passage of a recent referendum. As a result, there were serious budget cutbacks ongoing around the time of his application.

    (From District Newsletter: May 2006)

    "Due to the failed referendum, deep cuts have been made in the 2006-07

    Education Fund. Based upon the failed referendum Option 2 information that was presented to the public prior to the election, the Board has:

    • Eliminated 4 dean positions
    • Eliminated all health clerk positions
    • Eliminated 4 (four-hour) food server positions
    • Eliminated Project Challenge (Gifted Education)
    • Eliminated annual expenses for FY2007 totaling $865,071

    • Eliminated plan for Middle School Career Technology Program

    • Reduced K-5 Physical Education to 1/2 time
    • Reduced K-5 librarians to 1/2 time
    • Reduced K-5 Art to 1/2 time
    • Reduced K-5 Music to 1/2 time
    • Reduced K-8 Project Coordinators to 1/2 time
    • Reduced K-8 social workers by 1

    The administration and board will be monitoring class sizes based on increasing enrollment and staff reductions. Additionally, all extra-curricular pro-
    grams/activities are under review."

    F*ck Him!

    By Anonymous casio fields, at 9:08 PM, August 11, 2006  

  • D.R. stated "I have specific reason to believe that Chris Welch was not aware of the situation, at least as recent as several weeks ago."

    Are you kidding me? This has Welch written all over it. This is just how Welch operates. He thinks he is the smartest piece of shit in the pile, but he is actually a cocky, dumb lawyer with a speech degree from Northwesten. WTF! He tries to portray this powerful broker image, but is actually a dumb wuss, correction puss.

    D.R. also stated "And, no! I don't believe Libka is capable of orchestrating such a sophisticated ploy. It's not his style to be that devious, and too begin with, such a tact would never have been necessary on his part."

    D.R. what you meant ws that libka is really dumb and does not have the brains to come up with a scheme like this. So, you do agree that Libka is DUM? Libka is devious but without the know how to execute any plan, similar to how he runs 209. Libka is a known liar and could have possibly had some input on this back-fired plan.


    Now remember people D.R. is the person who went to bat for the Birket Group and Libka. Please refer to the orginal thread on Libka as a supt. candidate. D.R. seems to be apart of the Welch groupie freak show and now wants to save face with this recent comment.

    Libka and Welch are so arrogant and SHITTY that they could care less about this breaking news. Welch is fighting like the dog he is to hire the unqualified, simple Simon Libka.

    Let's just see how this will play out on Monday. Will Welch have it his way and appoint his boy toy Libka as supt.?

    By Blogger deja-vu2, at 12:35 AM, August 12, 2006  

  • Is King even one of the finalist?

    By Anonymous Observer, at 9:06 AM, August 12, 2006  

  • Let's talk about unqualified, incompetent, and dishonest Libka . He is actually a finalist, not King. This is not King's fault. The fault lies in the Birkett Group and Welch.

    As for poor King, anyone tied to Gene Moore and Chris Welch becomes tainted. King is innocent in this situation. Gene Moore and Welch masterminded this scheme. Everything that Moore and Welch touch turns to garbage.

    When will people realize that this "power couple" is over. They are done and trying to hold on to the last thread of 209. They don't want to give up the little power they have at 209. BUT BABY COME APRIL, 209 WILL GO BACK TO THE STUDENTS! THE STUDENTS SHOULD COME FIRST!

    Why is it that Gene Moore is at Proviso East every day, and not running the Recorder of Deeds Office. Is Gene Moore really the supt?

    Welch and Moore are over.

    By Blogger District209Parent, at 10:02 AM, August 12, 2006  

  • deja-vu2 said:

    "D.R. is the person who went to bat for the Birket Group and Libka. Please refer to the orginal thread on Libka as a supt. candidate. D.R. seems to be apart of the Welch groupie freak show and now wants to save face with this recent comment."

    Actually, it's not a matter of saving face. I'm not beholding to any of the parties mentioned. Nor is there a need to protect what is essentially an anonymous personality.

    I have had personal contact with Libka, Welch, and key representitves of the Bickert Group. In all instances, I posed questions on issues of the kind that have been raised on this forum and in other discussion with people that have an interest in the outcome (including certain members on the school board, individuals on both sides of the so-called faction). Such discussions were frank and quite to the point.

    The purpose in my mentioning all this is only to convey what was a sincere attempt at exercising my own personal investigation, especially in the aftermath of having sifted through numerous speculation and innuendo. All of the parties mentioned have, to me, been quite accessible. As the result of all this effort I have constructed what you might call a certain "perspective".

    The opinions I express are therefore mostly the result of direct contact. And what you see featured in my posts reflect no other motive(s) than what is my own attempts at getting to the facts. It's a "best efforts" approach and I certainly don't want to pose myself as the absolute authority on any of the issues.

    By Anonymous D.R., at 10:37 AM, August 12, 2006  

  • If what Carl and other posters said on this thread is true, so much for the impeccable reputation of the Bickert Group. Even if it did disclose its ties to Eric King to the District 209 Board, by allowing Eric King to pursue the District 209 superintendent position while he was still affiliated with the Bickert Group, the Bickert Group exercised extremely poor judgment. And isn’t the Bickert Group’s good judgment supposed to be the pillar upon which it stands? Several things come to mind:

    (1). Did a member or members of the Bickert Group, say Eric King himself or one of his Bickert Group compatriots, deliberately screen out equally or better qualified candidates for the position of the District 209 superintendent in favor of Eric King? For there to be even the slightest reason for someone to ask this question casts a real pall on the credibility of the Bickert Group, in my opinion

    (2). The District 209 superintendent position is much too critical a position to award to a remaining candidate (Dr. Libka?) by default because of the now questionable screening process performed by the Bickert Group and the possibility that one or more equally or better qualified candidates may have been inappropriately screened out

    (3). The District 209 Board ought to demand every penny back that it paid to the Bickert Group plus any damages

    (4). The District 209 Board ought to re-start the search for a qualified superintendent from scratch using another screening firm. It owes that to our students and to our community. In this period of time of a renewed search and selection process, maybe Dr. Libka, in his acting role, can do something demonstrable and significant for our students and school district (but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it)

    (5) Because I’m concerned about the education of students in general, I am now wondering if there were screening irregularities or other questionable acts performed by the Bickert Group in other school districts. Maybe someone or some entity, such as the Chicago Tribune or Chicago Sun-times, might want to follow up on this.

    By Blogger Steven, at 10:59 AM, August 12, 2006  

  • As for Bickert?

    Maybe 209 board should sue 'em.

    Then as you say, start over.

    No more tainting, not this time.

    Too bad.

    All this just sickens my stomach.

    S.O.S.

    By Anonymous S.O.S, at 11:44 AM, August 12, 2006  

  • From what I see, I think the author of the blog and 90% of those who comment on it are politically aligned with a particular faction in the proviso political landscape. The discussion is always slanted and biased against Gene Moore and Chris Welch. As I review the discussion in this thread, to accuse Welch or any single board member of tainting the process because a candidate works for the Bickert group is a down right below the belt punch at Welch for no reason. Blogs that have credibility have discussion on both sides, and unfortunately this blog appears to promote someone's political agenda. If the 209 Superintendent Search is tainted, it is tainted because of the Bickert Group and this Eric King connection. But this can only be said if Eric King is one of the finalist. Is Eric King being considered among the finalist for the position? Also, the process could be tainted if you consider why Gary Marine has suddenly re-appeared at his first board meeting in over four months. Mr. Marine has not attended a single meeting since March or April, and from what I've seen, he did not participate in a single interview of any candidate. According to insiders, he appeared last week because he was brought in to break an apparent tie between the Welch and Flowers factions. However, it must not have worked out the way Flowers and Kelly intended. Personally, I think the Bickert Group has or have an ethical responsiblity to divulge if one of its associates is involved in the process, but I don't think it's as bad as a disappearing board member showing up suddenly to tilt the process for political reasons. Legally, Bob Ingraffia's office should step in and remove Marine from the board for failure to perform his duties for over four months.

    By Anonymous Observer, at 11:58 AM, August 12, 2006  

  • Observer:

    You wrote, "If the 209 Superintendent Search is tainted, it is tainted because of the Bickert Group and this Eric King connection. But this can only be said if Eric King is one of the finalist." Really, you think so, Observer? How about this hypothetical scenario? Eric King wants to be the superintendent of District 209. Working for the Bickert Group, he has access to all of the resumes submitted for the position and the ability to excise the resumes of equally or more qualified applicants than himself from anyone's view or consideration. He does this, obviously, to enhance his chances of getting the position. It turns out that he does not make the final "cut" for the position and District 209 drops consideration of him. What, Observer, do you think --- that all of those excised resumes will suddenly reappear and land in the laps of the District 209 Board? If so, I've got a bridge to sell you.

    Then, you state, "Personally, I think the Bickert Group has or have an ethical responsiblity to divulge if one of its associates is involved in the process, but I don't think it's as bad as a disappearing board member showing up suddenly to tilt the process for political reasons.". What? You don't think it's as bad? By what yardstick do you compare these apples and oranges and arrive at the conclusion that the so-called disappearing board member is worse. Once again, it's a case of the kettle calling the pot black; your yardstick is *your* blatant personal bias. It comes across loud and clear.

    By Blogger Steven, at 2:43 PM, August 12, 2006  

  • Eric King goes to my church. (Broadview Baptist) I am appalled that he would be involved with anything shady like this. A member at the church showed me that he is a supporter (gives money)to Eugene Moore and has for years. I just wouldn't think he would have anything to do with Gene. He's appears to be very straight forward and honest.

    I knew he lived in Oak Park but is this true that he doesn't?

    This is too much.

    By Anonymous say it ain't so, at 8:43 PM, August 12, 2006  

  • From the Bickert Web site:

    "Your Board of Education makes all decisions."

    "Our record of achievement results from the in-depth attention given to each search process and from the pride we take in each step along the way."

    "The firm reviews candidate applications, conducts in-depth interviews, completes reference checks and presents a final slate of candidates for your consideration,consulting with the Board at everystep of the way.

    "Our firm offers its counsel and advice on topics of contract negotiations, entry plans for the candidate, interviewing strategies and questions, or any other issues that may emerge throughout the process."

    http://www.thebickertgroup.com/

    Assuming that all the above procedures were indeed adhered to, how could the board not know of the situation as detailed in article from the Wednesday Journal?

    By Anonymous D.R., at 6:42 AM, August 13, 2006  

  • It really doesn't matter whether Mr. King was a serious prospect for the 209 job or not. This questions the whole integrity of the Birkett Group. Full disclosure would have prevented even the sligthest appearance of underhandedness. If District 209 wants the outside environment to believe it's taking this most important job search seriously, it would start over and implement and new search. Then Mr. Libka and whoever else can re-submit their applications. If a new search, winds up with the same finalists, then so be it.

    By Blogger Provisoguru, at 10:01 AM, August 13, 2006  

  • It goes back to what well educated families and families who seek to get ahead think of Proviso "a typical bastion of black ineptitude and corruption,promugated by black arrogance and destruction of valued centers of education"!

    All educated folks of Proviso , move out now before it's to late! The blacks are truely running our schools, now its only a matter of time, before everything blows up,just like Haiti and the West side of Chicago!

    By Anonymous I can't lie, at 2:13 PM, August 13, 2006  

  • Now do you understand,Carl why whites and other nationalities ,plus Blacks from the Caribeen and Africa don't want to live next to americans blacks?
    Nobody wants to be there nieghbors,work with them or go to school with them, especially when there in charge!
    It's a culture,unique to american blacks, not other blacks from around the world,just american blacks who destroy everything, and don't want to work hard to achieve success!Once they officially destroy Proviso and every town they move into, they'll want to go where whites are,DuPage and use there schools,parks and then eventually this same cycle will occur there , with the neighborhood worsening and the schools a disaster!
    Pity our People!

    By Anonymous telling the truth, at 2:20 PM, August 13, 2006  

  • People, no matter what color, will live next door to blacks. Even blacks who are in control. They won't live next door to people with ghetto fabulous attitudes and lack and care to their property. Who wants to live next door to anyone who would bring the neighborhood down. Look at how Flowers and Kelly behave at 209 board meetings. It's unprofessional and childish. That's what gives people bad feelings about the schools and lack of confidence in the public school system. Professional disagreement is good, but the way they do it creates lack of public trust. Another example is the way Flowers and Kelly take care of their property. Flowers drives of Mercedes, but doesn't take care of it. Appearance is 90 percent of a person's success, and he fails in that department. Also, has anyone ever been near Flowers to spell the body odor he emits? Finally, Kelly can't even take of her body. Have you ever seen her legs? They look like elephant legs.

    By Anonymous a.p., at 2:45 PM, August 13, 2006  

  • What galls the bejesus out of me are the successful Black people to whom the Black community looks toward with pride and who turn out to be duplicitous, self-serving scum bags --- portraying themselves, with smiles on their faces, as pillars of the community while taking advantage of and profiting from the Black community like vultures tearing the meat off of the bones of the helpless. Don’t get me wrong; this happens in all racial, ethnic, and cultural groups but is especially sickening to me when it occurs in the Black community.

    Our Proviso schools are problematic, a tragedy really. Children with incredible academic potential may never realize that potential, in part, because these vultures are fixated on enhancing their own wealth, taking care of their own families and acquaintances at the expense of our students, and gathering more and more power for power’s sake. They see struggling communities such as the Proviso area as easy kills and they swoop in and they feed off of these communities for purely personal gain.

    This one gets a position of power in the school district and his Uncle Tyrone, a functional idiot with a double-digit IQ score somewhere south of 70, suddenly becomes a dean. That one gets a position of power in the village, cuts a few kick-back deals which short-change the village thousands of dollars, starts driving a Bentley, and watches apathetically while kids hang out in the streets because there aren’t enough after-school activities for them to participate in.

    And, how might we classify this one? He’s a trustee in an affluent community, highly educated, and in a position to help determine the course of an entire school district (predominantly Black) by working for a firm that is contracted to participate in the school district’s superintendent selection process. He doesn’t have the required residency in the community for which he is a trustee (or, at least, it’s in serious question). And, he becomes a candidate for the position of superintendent without, apparently, first resigning his job at the screening firm which will help to select the superintendent (can you say “conflict of interest”?). Here’s a multiple choice question:

    This man’s alleged behavior as described seems to demonstrate:

    (a). integrity
    (b). reasons for people, and especially Black people, to emulate him
    (c). good intentions
    (d). playing by the rules
    (e). all of the above
    (f). none of the above {(a), (b), (c), (d)}

    Really Tyrone, you think it’s (e)?

    By Blogger Steven, at 5:41 PM, August 13, 2006  

  • Welch is agian posing as A.P.

    Welch you have proved that you are a stalker. You drive pass people's house and take pictures of their children going to school. You peep into their windows to see them undressing at night. You have proved that you are very sick.

    Welch you have proved that you like to kiss and smell people's ass. You like to sniff people's arms pits and butt cheeks, preferably men. Your obsession with kissing and licking Serpico and Gene Moore's ass. Is that how you get off in your office? Wipe your desk off, nasty boy!

    Shockingly, Welch you have proved that you do like women. I am still not convinced of this one.

    Welch you have proved that your parents didn't die in a car crash (like you lied to the people in Melrose Park), but in fact that they took you to the zoo to visit the monkeys and snakes. Both animals becoming your role models.

    Welch you have proved that you suffer from an undiagnosed mental disorder that is rare to you and only the reptile species. LIZARD! LIZARD!

    Welch you have proved that you are a BIG ASS BIATCH! Are you upset that you cannot have your way during board meetings? Is that why you are attacking other board members because no one wants to hire your puppet, BOZO DOZO LIBKA!

    Welch you have proved that there are people that are working like the dog you are to make sure that you are destroyed in April. It's on SUCKER!

    By Blogger Crome_Dome, at 6:04 PM, August 13, 2006  

  • To: I can't lie and telling the truth

    It's people like you that like to bring race into this. I doubt if you're even African-American or West Indian. But if you are then you're worse than the biggest bigot in American for downing your own people. Sure there are inept black folks in Proviso School districts. Just as there are inept white folks and latino folks. Just because the blacks seem to now have control doesn't mean jack! If you all want to blame the problems in Proviso Township on the blacks who are in control then what about when the boards were control by majority whites in the not too distant past. It's a shame that many foreigners, including Carribean and African, have bought into the negative steretypes of African-Americans created by the white majority. When we as African-Americans travel to Jamica or Ghana or Nigeria, we don't condemn our brothers or sisters for the condition that they find themselves in. We don't even judge them and they're the majority population in their countries. African-Americans are the minority population in the United States and some have strive to achieve great success against extraordinary odds.

    By Blogger Provisoguru, at 6:15 PM, August 13, 2006  

  • Eric King is a minister associated with the Broadview Missionary Baptist Church. If he did not realize that both representing an area where he does not live and being both a candidate and a candidate screener are conflicts of interest he is ethically chalenged and should not claim to be a minister. However... unsubstantiated claims on a blog do not constitute proof and he should be allowed to present his side before judgement is passed.

    By Blogger s'just_a_MES, at 8:09 PM, August 13, 2006  

  • I visited Broadview church and King was one of the ministers standing by the exit doors as service concluded. He kind of rubbed me the wrong way. I didn't really think much else about it, but he was sort of condescending. After shaking my wife's hand, he then looked at me in a dismissive way and said allright "young man". It wasn't what he said, but more so his body language and how he said it. It was as if he was so superior and talking to a child. I thought about it briefly, it just didn't seem appropriate. I've gone there on a couple of occasions and thought nothing else of it.

    By Anonymous R.W., at 9:11 PM, August 13, 2006  

  • You people that attend church under this Eric King guy might want to reconsider. If this report has any truth to it, he is ethically challenged and should not be ministering anyone.

    By Anonymous Ms. T.C., at 9:53 PM, August 13, 2006  

  • What likely happened last Wednesday...

    There had been a strong turnout, many who were present were clearly there to cheerlead Libka's appointment. The faction took offense with what they perceived as a tactic by Chris Welch to have his guy come in under a resounding show of support.

    Taken aback by what was to them an obvious grandstand effort, an attempt was made to derail the process. King's application was resurrected from the D.O.A. file and put into contention as a viable candidate. The ensuing discussion led to there being no clear majority for Welch's man. The selection process then had to be postponed.

    Bickert was never able to produce what they perceived as a adequate list of viable candidates. King's name had been tossed into the pile merely in an effort to pad the short list. As the Journal article indicates, the guy's home in Oak Park is under contract to be sold. Why sell your home in Oak Park and permanently seek to settle in the Matteson, Illinois area if there was the potential for being hired by Proviso S.D. 209?

    King wound up being used, both by Bickert and the spiteful faction seated on the board.

    Plenty embarrassment to go around for all, Welch/Libka for planting shills at an official gathering, a spiteful and contentious faction acting in defense of their feeling steamrolled and, lastly, a firm who rather stupidly placed their reputation on the line in an effort to appear more thorough when faced with a perceived less-than-stellar effort to provide service in accord with their mission.

    I fault Libka for going along with the original charade. I fault the board's faction members for clinging to their partisanship role without having done the necessary homework that would have added an element of integrity to the process. As for Bickert, no wonder folk are skeptical of the lofty self-descriptions and ill-contrived images companies scheme to lay out to the public. Ethics in business is an oxymoron these days and, increasingly, it's geeting more difficult to pull off dupes on the public.

    King simply got bitch-slapped all over the place, and deservedly so. He was just as duplicitous. There will be no reply to various accusations of impropriety on his part becasue he lacks any defense.

    When will they ever learn?

    By Anonymous cannonball caruthers, at 11:52 PM, August 13, 2006  

  • People that deal with Welch and Moore eventually get burned in the end. When will people see Welch and Moore for who they really are, two DUMB ASS crooks. Looks like a snake, slivers like a snake, it's Chris " baldie the lizard" Welch and Gene "big belly turtle" Moore.

    By Blogger Crome_Dome, at 12:22 AM, August 14, 2006  

  • King's actions have no reflections upon Broadview Baptist Church. There are some very well-meaning people who attend there. He is simply not one of them.

    King's stupidity is just that...stupid and shallow. But, what's more apparent is his arrogance to think he would not be first found out and now challenged. (God don't like ugly) These descretions on his part speak to his lack of judgement and integrity. The fact that he is black is inconsequential and the race baiting here should stop. Bottom line is what is the Berkert Group going to do about King, what is Broadview Baptist going to do about King, what is Oak Park going to do about King and what is King going to do about himself?

    Repentance should begin here.

    By Anonymous Bro Chuck, at 8:19 AM, August 14, 2006  

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