by Max Brantley
The School District statement:
On Monday, June 13, 2011, the Pulaski County Special School District completed its investigation of Mills University Studies Principal Michael Nellums following his recent suspension by Superintendent Charles Hopson, and submitted the findings to the Superintendent’s Office. However, earlier the same day, Mr. Nellums informed the Human Resources Department of his intention to resign and take early retirement. This afternoon, Mr. Nellums submitted his notice of resignation for early retirement.
Had Nellums not resigned, Hopson would have made a recommendation on whether Nellums deserved further discipline such as firing. The School Board would have had to act on the recommendation. Because he has resigned, the results of that personnel investigation are not open under the state Freedom of Information Act, which allows release of personnel investigation only after completion of action ending in suspension or termination. Nellums was suspended after Prosecutor Larry Jegley's report sharply criticizing Nellums and School Board member Tim Clark for participating in a scheme that produced a videotape and letter suggesting that Williams took a bribe. She has sued Clark and Nellums and an actor in the video for defamation. Clark has refused to resign from the School Board. Nellums has continued to serve on the Little Rock School Board.
Nellums had worked for the district 26 years and made about $103,000 as principal.
UPDATE: I sought some comments from Nellums. His note to me:
Max I gave the district a statement to release concerning my retirement. Not my resignation, but my planned retirement. And yes you can come with the rest of my friends to my retirement party, O fair and balanced reporting one.
For your final question, Yes, of course I'm staying on the LR board. I am.... going fishing though.
Enjoy your evening.
UPDATE: I responded to this note and got a further response. Read on:
ME TO NELLUMS
Thanks for responding. I didn't get a statement from them beyond the prepared statement I ran as they released it. But I'll add this.
I report what I know. If you ever want to contribute another view, I'd be happy to hear it. But I'm also not going to lie to you. I write opinion. And my opinion of your getting into the Gwen Williams thing — absent so-far-missing explanations — isn't a good one.
NELLUMS TO ME
Max: I offered my retirement Monday morning after speaking with my family and friends. That was long before the Monday special meeting or before I had any knowledge that the "investigation" of the "investigation" was complete and forwarded.
I respect the fact that you write opinions because I have several of my own. However, because we have them (opinions) doesn't make them true or the law. In time, more favorable light will be shed on my "alleged involvement" in the scenario.
And you can still come to the "retirement party." You can even bring the Judge.