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Proviso Probe

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Welch & Johnson should come clean

Yahoo (David Crary, AP):
NEW YORK - The American Red Cross ousted its president, Mark Everson, on Tuesday after learning that he had engaged in a "personal relationship" with a subordinate employee.

The woman was not identified, but I expect if she was the one in charge of the Red Cross' money that would have been part of the story.

When I asked Emanuel "Chris" Welch, president of Proviso Township High Schools (District 209) board of education if he was dating Nikita Johnson, who was then the business manager and has since been promoted, Welch responded with, "I don't discuss my personal life with the media."

It's time for the board of education and Superintendent Robert Libka to ask the question of both of them. "Are you two dating?"

District 209 is a district with a history of crony politics in both jobs and contracting. The FBI is investigating the district for something.

Five of the seven board members are quite passive, letting themselves be bossed by Welch and political boss Eugene Moore (Brian Cross and Reatha "Sue" Henry work for Moore at the Cook County Recorder of Deeds). One of the passive board members, Robin Foreman, is Johnson's aunt. Foreman has been pushing for D209 to hire Johnson for years, going back to when Foreman was active with the boosters.

On top of that the district the superintendent, Libka, is very much a "go along, get along" kinda guy who avoids confrontation.

Libka and the board need to ask Welch and Johnson what's the story. There are rumors they are engaged. And they have been dating since summer 2006.

If they are involved, one of them should resign to remove the conflict of interest. Remember, being a school board member is an unpaid position that is supposed to be about serving the community.

If the president of the Red Cross had to resign because of a relationship with a Red Cross employee, it seems like Welch should resign if he's involved with the person overseeing all the money at the district.

This is especially true since it's likely that there are serious questions about how Johnson spent some of the money.

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  • One Proviso employee raised the issue with me that Nikita Johnson gave herself a bonus right before she demanded the unionized employees take furloughs (pay cuts).

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 4:30 PM, November 27, 2007  

  • This is a non story, and the analogy with the American Red Cross is not appropriate. The President of the American Red Cross is the CEO in charge of the day to day activities of the district. If he was having a relationship with an employee he oversaw on a daily basis, then that's inappropriate. In the Proviso situation, Welch is the President of the Board yes, but he is only one vote. Welch is also a volunteer who does not get paid. The Superintendent is the CEO of the district and in charge of the day to day activities. Johnson reports to the Superintendent. There is clearly no conflict there. As I said in an earlier story, Welch and Johnson are two, young, successful professionals. With the amount of hours they put in at work, where would they meet someone they are compatible with. Most likely in a work like environment. I think the two of them make a wonderful couple and are an example of the good that God has in store for two people. Also, if Welch and Johnson are only dating, why is so much focus put on Welch. If Robin Foreman is Johnson's aunt, why is that not your focus? I believe it's not your focus because you know that the situation is not a conflict. I believe you are just using the personal life of these two good people for your anti-Welch political purposes.

    By Anonymous Supporter of Successful People, at 6:28 PM, November 27, 2007  

  • My Wire Has Static says:

    Someone called them the next Barack and Michelle Obama. THAT IS THE MOST PATHETIC THING I HAVE EVER HEARD. They are more like the next Jim and Tammie Faye Baker!
    The next Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston! BOOOOOOBBBBBBBBYYYYY!!!!!
    The next Mr. and Mrs. Ghetto Fabulous. Taking from the poor and giving to the rich.

    Go get 'em Carl! The teachers and staff are in uproar about this "convenient" relationship. She is cashing in bonuses and vacation days, but the District is firing employees.
    Nikita Johnson illegally cashed in vacation days and this did not get the board's approval! HER ASS SHOULD BE IN PRISION! Her aunt and Welch defended her and Libka did not call for an investigation! HOW CROOKED PROVISO IS!!!!!!! But the state should be notified of this illegal practice. And she is doing this all at the expense of the studnets! I hope the Feds take Welch, Foreman, Henry, Cross, Cox, Adams, Moore, and Nikita Johnson asses to jail.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:30 PM, November 27, 2007  

  • I think your innuendo that Welch and Johnson are hiding something is inappropriate. Their private dating situation is between them. It's none of your business. If you cover the Proviso board meetings like you say you do, then you should be able to see that those two are good for each other. Also, I know both Welch and Johnson, and I know them both to be extremely bright products of Proviso West. You talk about two people meant for each other...those two are a perfect match. They are just as perfect as my husband and I, and we both worked together for over 20 years at the same place. In fact, we met at work. I wish them well.

    By Anonymous Proviso Teacher, at 6:53 PM, November 27, 2007  

  • I can't believe you think they have something to come clean about. What is wrong with these two people dating? OMG! What you are doing to these two people is just not right. Who cares about their personal life? It takes more than one board member to get something passed at a board meeting. Give these people some respect and let them enjoy their personal relationship if one exists.

    By Anonymous Shocked, at 8:28 PM, November 27, 2007  

  • I also agree whole heartily with you, Mr. Nyberg.Mr. Welch as 209 Board President for the past 8 years has a moral and legal responsibility to the residents,taxpayers and voters to openly declare the affirmation or rebute these accusations.Lying to the voters,residents and taxpayers are not acceptable and the conflict of interest this creates is perjurable and criminal.
    We can't accept any comments from this board because none of them have shown any remorse or any independence in their roles of board members and as political hacks!
    Welch must tell the truth,be public and open,politically this is the smart move,since Welch can then protect himself from any improprieties with Johnson and her role in and at 209,plus he can recuse himself from votes and STILL get the votes to pass any of his agenda items!

    By Anonymous Memorial Park District, at 8:40 PM, November 27, 2007  

  • High functioning communities would not accept the president of the school board dating the person who oversees finances at the school district.

    For members of the school board to be dating any employees is questionable.

    The head of the school board dating the person who keeps the books seems to have a bunch of potential for mischief and the appearance of impropriety.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 10:05 AM, November 28, 2007  

  • Carl,

    You're right on target! Chris Welch has been a living and breathing pariah in our district for years and his improper relationship with Nikita Johnson is no exception.

    Chirs Welch's tenure on this board cannot be considered successful in the least bit. It is absolutely the opposite! Welch's presidential track record is horrendous and anyone who sees his record as a benchmark for all things successful is simply being foolish.

    Welch is an ineffective leader that should resign immediately! We have to stop this nonsense. Welch has been through 4...that's right...4 Superintendents in his short and detrimental tenure as board president. Since the beginning of Welch’s induction as president, test scores have fallen rapidly. Graduation rates have fallen rapidly. The daily attendance rates have fallen rapidly. The only good thing I can say about Welch’s record is that he’s consistent! Consistently bad…Consistently poor…Consistently embarrassing to anyone who has to accept or defend this piss poor record. Well…we consistently know what to expect from the ineffective leader known as Chris Welch!

    What a legacy! E. Chris Welch, resign now and save our district from the self-imposed dark cloud that hovers over your ill-fated head.

    By Anonymous Chris Welch National embarrassment!, at 2:37 PM, November 28, 2007  

  • Heres a related story. Wallace wants to buy busses and fire teachers. She has not researched the law......Its gonna cost more than a few teachers salaries..

    Transportation: District school boards that provide transportation to and from local public schools must provide transportation, without cost, for students attending nonpublic schools. If the student resides at least 1 1/2 miles from the school and along the regular route of the public school bus, the transportation will extend from a point on the route nearest or most easily accessible to the home and the school. If the student resides within 1 1/2 miles from the school, transportation will be afforded on the same basis as provided for public school students. Separate bus routes for nonpublic school students are permitted if it is safer, more economical, and more efficient. 105 ILCS ch. 5, para. 29-4. State reimbursement for public school transportation may be withheld for failure to furnish transportation to nonpublic school students. People ex rel. Bd. of Educ. v. State Bd. of Educ., 344 N.E.2d 5 (1976).

    The school board of any school district may agree to provide transportation for students attending nonpublic school activities, if the Board provides transportation for public school students and the buses are not needed for public school activities. A charge must be assessed in an amount not less than the cost, including a reasonable allowance for depreciation of the vehicle. 105 ILCS ch. 5, para. 29-3.2.

    The Chicago Transit Board is authorized to provide free transportation, or transportation at reduced fares, to pupils in attendance at private schools offering grades of instruction comparable to those offered in public schools. 70 ILCS ch. 3605, para. 30.

    Private school bus drivers must be over 21 years of age, have at least 1 year of driving experience, and hold a valid school bus driver permit. 625 ILCS ch. 5, para. 6-104 (b), (d).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:18 AM, November 29, 2007  

  • Go to HELL, You smelly ACLU bum. You're a BIG LOSER. Take your gangbanging lovers with you. You stink like you-know-what & Probably haven't washed yourself for days, You ultra-left radical bum.

    By Anonymous Nyberg sux, at 2:35 PM, December 05, 2007  

  • Maybe Proviso seems so screwed up to me because I did not grow up in the community, I attended good schools and have seen how a succesfull organization/school should be run. Anyone who thinks its OK for Welch and Johnson to be dating are dead wrong. It is our business, because they are public figures who are making decisions for our community, children, employees. people in charge of policy should not be dating. One person has control of finances, the other has the muscle to influence decisions on the board. When there is so much distrust and poor management, the last thing that can happen is two of the top people in the district dating/engaged, etc. If it was our nations business when President Clinton had an affair, so it is our business with Welch. When the district is in such bad shape, things need to get cleaned up, and crap like this doesnt help. Its time to clean house, bring in outsiders who dont have affiliations, dont have friends in high places, have good credentials, to clean up this mess. Everyone in house has been influenced and tainted. Bring someone in from Naperville, or Glenbard, etc. A district where the person would be shocked what happens in our schools. What happens at proviso is not normal. Unfortunatley, its all people like welch know. This teacher votes no confidence in the board, libka, and the principles. Clean house, bring in the state, start fresh. Its the only way to change the culture of the evnironment.

    By Anonymous pissed off teacher, at 10:21 PM, December 06, 2007  

  • Here, here. I agree that outsiders need to be brought into PTHS to clean house. The same holds true for the Villge of Maywood. As long as we keep electing people from the same pool of dysfunction we will keep getting the same results.

    By Anonymous stop the fleecing of maywood, at 7:35 PM, December 14, 2007  

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