Season 1 Episode 2
As we’ve stated before, the group of people that are involved with the Mason Classical Academy Scandals are as interesting a group of people as could be found in any school anywhere in the United States. I am using the word ‘interesting’ very judiciously, as I believe that it takes all kinds of dif ferent people from all kinds of different backgrounds to make something like a school work…..it takes a village, right?
BUT, some of the people that were involved with the founding and running of this school may be a little “MORE” than what the village bargained for….
Today we’re going to talk about three of those villagers specifically.
First, we’re going to talk about Nick Lichter, the husband of MCA Chairperson Kelly Mason Lichter and someone that probably should have been vetted even just a little bit before he was allowed to have such a ‘hands-on’ role at the school.
Trusting someone you may not know all that well, with the safety and health of a large group of children isn’t a responsible way to approach running a school.
We’re going to talk about Joe Whitehead, the current Assistant Principal at MCA and one of the employees that has been accused of being involved in the Golden Parachute Contract Scandal.
And Finally, we’re going to talk about David Bolduc. Mr. Bolduc, who is an insurance salesman in Naples, Florida, is also a Board Member of Mason Classical Academy. Mr Bolduc has regularly participated in violating State Sunshine and Open Government Laws, as a member of the MCA Board, recently stepped up his game when he attempted to sneak through a change to the school’s health insurance provider that would have illegally netted him a large financial gain.
The first time I ever heard the name Nick Lichter was when another parent at MCA forwarded me a screenshot of a Facebook post by Nick from one of the parent’s groups. The post by Nick was in reference to a complaint with the State filed by former treasurer of the mca board, Joseph Baird and was directed at Baird and a few other founding members of Mason Classical Academy.
The posting basically read as follows, “Byron Donalds, Erika B Donalds, and Joe Baird just fucked with the wrong school. BRING IT ON YOU LYING BITCHES!!!!”
I hadn’t fully been exposed to how the MCA board and leadership acted at this point, but I found it very odd that the husband of the Board Chair of the school was posting this kind of inflammatory rhetoric.
I was not offended by the language and it was not something that I was unaccustomed to hearing, but I would expect more professionalism from a family member of a school board’s chairperson. At that point I thought that maybe they were divorced and he was ‘doing his own thing’ and acting the fool without running it past her first.
This was the summer of 2018 and I didn’t have an actual interaction with Mr. Lichter until almost a year later in the spring of 2019. It was shortly after the Collier County Public School district had released an investigative report about the many transgressions that had taken place at MCA, that parents began speaking openly on Facebook messenger and MCA specific Facebook pages about the lack of competent leadership at the school and the hopes that the school district would step in and force a leadership change.
I still thought it was most likely that public opinion and pressure from parents would lead to the resignation of these people that had, at this point, made the story of this school more about them as individuals than about the kids.
At one point, I had posted in an MCA page that I had confidence that Kelly Mason Lichter and the other board members would resign rather than allow the school’s reputation to suffer further damage. Nick Lichter jumped into the conversation and stated that his wife would not resign. I asked him if it came down to her resigning or the school being closed, what would she do?…….His response, “Can you call me?”
Nick sent me his number, so……I picked up the phone and called him and had a cordial and not unfriendly 30 minute call, where he went on to tell me that I didn’t know anything about the situation and that the truth would come out eventually. He stated that there was a HUGE conspiracy being perpetrated by the school district and a group of disgruntled parents, that wanted nothing more than to close the school and embarrass him and his wife.
Nick also made it clear that he and his wife would bring the school down before allowing anyone else but her to run it.
Even though she was one member of a board of three, he made it clear that all the votes of the board were controlled by Kelly and they would allow no one else to infiltrate or interfere with the leadership of their school.
Now, I’m not a person that is easily talked into believing in massive far-reaching conspiracy theories…. and Nick’s assurances that he wasn’t making up this conspiracy was doing nothing to convince me that one existed in this case either.
However, once the call with Nick was completed, I decided that more research into these people was needed before I could decide who I could and could not trust. It didn’t take much looking to determine that Nick Lichter was not someone to be trusted.
A very basic search of “Nick Lichter, Naples Florida” turned up some pretty disturbing initial information. First, I found a Nicholas Lichter from Naples, Florida that had been arrested for domestic abuse on May 23, 2010.
The booking sheet from the arrest showed that the Collier County Sherrif’s Department had responded to a 911 call from a ‘female advising that she had been involved in a physical confrontation with her husband, Nick Lichter.’ The caller, who I came to find out was Kelly Mason Lichter, advised the 911 operator that Nick was intoxicated and had ‘trashed’ the house and threw her ‘against the wall’ and that ‘there was a history of abuse.” She told the operator that Nick had run off somewhere on foot.
When the officers arrived, Kelly told them that Nick had come home late and was drunk. An argument ensued and Kelly told Nick that she wanted a divorce. This enraged Nick, who threw a beer bottle at her that missed and shattered against the front door. He then grabbed her by the shoulders and threw her against the wall and the officer noted that he did observe a small injury on her right shoulder. Nick also threw a chair and broke a lamp as he left the residence.
Kelly advised the officer that there was a history of unreported physical abuse.
Nick was found nearby and arrested for domestic battery.
However, It appears that Mrs. Lichter refused to testify against him and that the case was dismissed due to insufficient evidence.
In conducting my research, there also appeared to be 3-4 different warrants for Nick’s arrest in the late 80’s and early 90’s for a variety of issues in which he failed to appear in court.
Another disturbing item that came up on a search of Nick Lichter was an arrest on September 2nd, 2013 in nearby Fort Myers Florida. Nick was spotted late at night by a patrol car, driving down a street with no headlights and using only the fog lights for illumination.
When he was pulled over, Mr. Lichter told the arresting officer that ‘…this switch says it’s on.’ Referring to the headlights in the car. Mr. Lichter produced registration and insurance for the car, which were both expired.
The officer shined his flashlight on the floor of the car and observed various drug paraphernalia in plain view. A K-9 officer was dispatched to the scene and confirmed the scent of illegal drugs. A search of the car found a ‘white chalky substance’ on the driver’s side door. A crack pipe was discovered between the seat and the center console.
The residue was tested using the officer’s drug test kit and tested positive for the presence of cocaine.
Lichter was arrested and charged with a third degree felony of possession of crack cocaine and first degree misdemeanor for possession of drug paraphernalia. Lichter claimed that the crack pipe was not his and that he had stayed at the Red Roof Inn the previous night with a woman that he picked up and that she was ‘fond of smoking crack cocaine’ and must have left her pipe in his car.
Unfortunately, the State’s attorney declined to prosecute the case…..and it may have something to do with the fact that prior to the arrest, Nick had led people to believe that he may hurt himself and was reported missing over that same time period by family members. Luckily, he was found….in the Lee County jail.
OK, so lets break this down. You might argue….this guy was never convicted of committing a crime….he was only ever charged, so it’s not fair to say that he shouldn’t be involved with the school.
And you’d be right….to a degree. This guy wasn’t convicted of domestic battery or felony possession of crack cocaine. But he was arrested for battering his wife, who claimed that there was a history of abuse. And Nick admitted to staying in the Red Roof Inn with a woman that liked to smoke crack cocaine regularly. This still displays bad judgement and questionable moral character on his part.
But, since he was never convicted of any major crimes, why shouldn’t he be given a second chance and allowed to participate in helping create this school?….right?
Well…I didn’t say he was NEVER convicted of a major crime. I just said he wasn’t convicted in these two cases. After the break, we’ll talk a little about Nick Lichter’s felony conviction and time in prison….
We were talking about Nick Lichter and his criminal record. What we didn’t yet discuss, was Mr. Lichter’s felony conviction for unarmed robbery and the year he spent in federal prison.
While conducting research on some of the individuals related to MCA, I came across some information about a Nicholas W Lichter that was convicted of felony unarmed robbery in the State of Massachusetts.
There were enough Nicholas’ Lichters found in conducting searches, that I wasn’t certain that I had the right Nick Lichter and wanted to be sure before I ever said anything about this in public.
I wasn’t able to find court records pertaining to the conviction and the corrections department had long ago purged the files related to the conviction, but they were able to confirm that the Nicholas Lichter related to MCA was the Nicholas Lichter that served time in prison for felony unarmed robbery.
Additionally, through a public records request, I was able to obtain an employment application Nick filled out with Collier County Public Schools in 2008 in which he admits being convicted for unarmed robbery and spending 11 months in prison.
Unfortunately, we don’t have many more details than that…..I’ve contacted Nick multiple times for a comment about his conviction and all I’ve ever received were threats and offers to meet him at the end of his street for a fight.
The law in the State of Florida prohibits any volunteers, employees, or contractors from being in the school and around children unsupervised if they have not undergone a Level II background check. MCA’s own policies are the same. So how is it possible that Nick Lichter, a convicted felon with a domestic battery arrest, is allowed in the school during school hours, unsupervised? Kelly Lichter has denied that Nick was ever in the school unsupervised, but we’ve heard from multiple people that this is not the case…
In speaking with current & former employees of MCA, I’ve been told that Nick Lichter has or had keys to the school and that he would come and go as he pleases….even when children were present in the school. Teachers would often see him come in the back door of the school during school hours. Additionally, there are screen shots of the MCA electronic file system showing that Nick has access to school records. How is that possible?
In speaking with employees of MCA, I’ve been told that Nick Lichter has or had keys to the school and that he would come and go as he pleases….even when children were present in the school. Teachers would often see him come in the back door of the school during school hours. Additionally, there are screen shots of the MCA electronic file system showing that Nick has access to school records. How is that possible?
In speaking with employees of MCA, I’ve been told that Nick Lichter has or had keys to the school and that he would come and go as he pleases….even when children were present in the school. Teachers would often see him come in the back door of the school during school hours. Additionally, there are screen shots of the MCA electronic file system showing that Nick has access to school records. How is that possible?
I completed a public records request for Nick’s Level II background screening at MCA and at the school district, as the district completes the screening process for all the public schools in the area. Neither had any records about Nick having completed a background check.
The school could have non-Level II volunteers at the school, but they wouldn’t have keys to the school and be able to come and go as they please during the school day.
Additionally, with MCA’s volunteer program, no volunteer was ever given an option to be a non-Level II volunteer. Every volunteer was required to complete the background check regardless of what they were going to be doing for the school. Nick was the only volunteer, that we are currently aware of, that was not required to complete a background check.
I submitted a written complaint to the MCA Board against Kelly Lichter regarding Nick’s access to the school and the lack of background screening and I received no response. I reminded them after a month and received an email from, of all people, Kelly Lichter. The email instructed the other Board members not to respond and stated there was no violation and accused me of making defamatory statements.
I responded stating that it was inappropriate for Kelly to even be involved in this discussion as she was the board member accused of violating MCA policy. Once again, she responded…this time she said,
“If it was not clear the first time, there has not been any policy violation. Your accusation never included any evidence that there was a policy violation. I ask that this stop immediately. I will ask our attorneys to weigh in next time. Thank you.”
I don’t know about you, but this sounds like a threat that she is going to have the school attorneys come after me if I don’t leave her alone. I responded asking her to get her attorney involved. The MCA attorney at the time, Shawn Arnold, responded that there was no violation of law and also asked that I leave the Board alone.
However, I persisted and eventually Mr Arnold referred to my ‘multiple phone calls with Joe Whitehead’ and asked Joe to contact me and discuss this information with me. I had never spoken to Joe Whitehead over the phone and the one time I did speak with Joe Whitehead, he claimed he would look into whether Nick was at the school during school hours. Mr. Whitehead eventually copied me on an email from Shawn Arnold stating that there was no evidence of Nick being at the school unsupervised. However, he did tell Mr. Whitehead that he should follow district policy and have Mr. Lichter complete the criminal history paperwork. Mr. Whitehead has refused to complete public records requests regarding that paperwork and he has refused to answer my emails as to whether Nick Lichter has ever completed the questionnaire.
Mr Whitehead did answer one of my emails. I had asked him if in the course of his investigation if he had ever reviewed the visitors logs at the school to determine if Mr. Lichter had ever signed-in at the front desk to enter the school. He stated that he had not reviewed those documents.
Sounds like this whole thing was swept under the rug doesn’t it? Well….It was. I’ve found that this is typical of the MCA Board. They employ a strategy of ‘deflect and attack’. If anyone questions the integrity of the Board, deflect them towards another issue with someone else and attack that person in an attempt to avoid answering the tough questions.
Kelly deflected the question of whether she had violated policy and pointed her attack at me. She made a veiled threat to attack me with the school attorneys if I persisted on an issue that she did not want to address.
Their attorney employed the same tactic by not answering the question of whether it was against MCA Policy for Kelly to respond to a complaint about her and then he used a prior email from me to say that I had acted inappropriately in the past.
I can’t get over how inappropriate it is for a chairperson in a taxpayer funded organization to derail a formal complaint made about them and prevent the other members from even considering the violation. The MCA Policy is clear that the accused member may not participate in the adjudication of suck complaints, but here was Kelly shutting it down before it ever began. Inappropriate is definitely a pattern that persists with this group.
Joe Whitehead, the retired police officer, apparently conducted some sort of half-baked investigation regarding Nick Lichter’s visits to the school, without ever having checked the visitors logs.
Maybe he had his professional wrestler ‘hat’ on at the time and wasn’t thinking like a police officer, or maybe it was his priest’s collar……it’s difficult to even comprehend…….in a minute….we’ll look closer at Joe Whitehead’s actions during his time at MCA and how the Board uses him to push their agenda.
It’s no surprise that Joe Whitehead has been involved with all the ‘shenanigans’ at MCA. He definitely has ‘most favored status’ with Kelly Lichter, as he was one of the employees accused of participating in the Golden Parachute Scandal and he actually did request he be paid out for the remainder of his contract just before the scandal really blew up……
Mr. Whitehead was also the employee that decided he was going to check certain students to see if they were wearing underwear, without parental permission, when a young boy had an accident and flushed his soiled underwear down a toilet at MCA. In this day and age, what would make you think it was ok to conduct an underwear check without permission. And how humiliating was that for all the boys that were , not just the boy that had the issue?
He was also the person that said he had no problem ending a parent’s ‘lease on life’ when they went to the media after the school would not respond to her request for help her with her son’s medical issues and instead expelled the student.
Mr. Whitehead has also used his positon to conduct several ‘investigations & police actions’ as it relates to personal issues of employees or Board Members.
In 2018, Principal David Hull was unhappy with his son’s relationship with another student at the school and notified the parents of that student that he would take legal action if their daughter had any additional contact with his son.
Coincidentally, the daughter’s parents had filed a grievance with the MCA Board over an incident where Mr. Hull was accused of bullying her and some other students. The Board brushed away the complaint without any action, but the complaint only made David Hull more upset.
Mr. Hull notified Joe Whitehead that there had been contact between Hull’s son and the other parent’s daughter after he demanded that she stop speaking with his son and he asked for Mr. Whitehead’s assistance in the matter. Joe advised him to contact the State’s Attorney and the Sheriff’s office and Hull followed up with an email that he would keep Mr. Whitehead posted on his interactions with ‘relevant entities’ as ‘we move forward’.
Joe later emailed Hull to let him know that he had spoken to the State’s Attorney and he would be the ‘collection point’ for all documents related to this moving forward.
At the same time, Hull continued to threaten the parents and the student directly, through personal emails.
Why was Joe Whitehead involved with this…..Hull was acting as a parent not as a principal…yet he was using Joe Whitehead as his own personal representative with law enforcement. Joe should have never been involved in this situation….especially when the parents of the girl had filed complaints with the schol against Hull.
In 2019, while all these scandals were coming to a head against MCA, Kelly Lichter partnered with another parent, Jana Greer, to hold a parents meeting online.
Only the people that were invited were notified about the meeting with Kelly Lichter, but some of the invitees notified other parents about the meeting. During this meeting, Kelly Lichter talked about a variety of subjects, including that ‘they’ did not want a parent-teacher organization that she did not have control of. So was this a private or a public meeting? Is it appropriate for the Board Chair to discuss what the Board wants in a private meeting with only the parents she invites. Shouldn’t this have been a publicly advertised meeting?
This became a specific issue when a listener recorded the entire meeting and the statements made by Kelly eventually went public. When Kelly discovered that someone had recorded the meeting, she made an issue of it and said that it was an illegal recording of a private meeting by a parent. She stated that it was against the law to record ‘calls’ of this type and she asked Joe Whitehead to investigate.
Why would Joe Whitehead investigate a ‘private’ meeting as a representative of MCA? If it’s a private meeting, why is Joe involved at all? If it’s MCA business, then it should not have been a private meeting. Yet, Joe Whitehead conducted another of his ‘investigations’ and presented his limited findings at a Board Meeting about his contact with authorities and went on to give his expert legal opinion on how the law was broken.
Currently, the police department has not filed charges and any active investigation has ceased.
Yes, Joe Whitehead has been just another ‘tool’ of the MCA Board to conduct their illegal and unethical activities throughout his tenure as Assistant Principal.
More recently, Joe was used to help provide a smoke screen for David Bolduc and the MCA Board during the Health Insurance Scandal that rocked the school in early 2020. More on that in just a moment….
On Tuesday March 28th 2020, Mason Classical Academy had an Emergency Board Meeting. The agenda for the meeting only included two items: An item titled ‘Investigation’ and another called – ‘Closed attorney-client Session’.
Just prior to the meeting, on the school website, there was a document posted in an area that is typically used to post the agenda and documents discussed during the board meeting. The document posted on that day was only ‘up’ on the website for a few minutes before it was deleted altogether. Luckily, a savvy parent had downloaded the document and circulated it to other parents before it was deleted..
This document was a letter from the current Principal of MCA, Pamela Vickaryous, to the Board Chair, Kelly Mason Lichter. In the letter she accused the Board Members of committing a ‘multitude’ of Sunshine Law violations and goes on to detail their actions. Mrs. Vickaryous also states that she will no longer stay silent about the crimes and she notifies Mrs. Lichter that she has already reported these activities to the Florida Office of the Inspector General, the Florida Department of Education, and the Florida Commission on Ethics.
Along with the letter, Mrs. Vickaryous included two emails…one from a teacher detailing what she called offensive and demeaning behavior directed at her by current Executive Director and former Principal, David Hull. The second was the email from the Director of Maintenance at MCA, Stanley Walkiewicz. His email, which we discussed at length in episode 1 of this podcast detailed many concerns about the deteriorating conditions of the school building and his belief that the building would not currently pass a health or fire Marshall inspection.
One paragraph from Mrs. Vickaryous’ letter is particularly shocking. It read:
Since the beginning of my employment with MCA as principal less than 7-months ago, I have been a witness to you and other Board Members committing and conspiring to commit a multitude of Sunshine Law violations. This ranges from you ordering the delay on responding to and fulfilling valid public records requests to conducting MCA business outside of a properly noticed Board Meeting to deciding matters not on any agenda at Board Meetings in a choreographed fashion with other board members. To even secretly removing staff’s access to the email server so those completing public records requests would not find responsive documents.
Pamela Vickaryous continues: I have also been a firsthand witness to David Bolduc’s misuse of his position as MCA’s Treasurer to further his own personal financial interests, not the least of which was his acting in dual roles as an MCA board member and as a Director of Captivated Health when he took me to boston and Orlando. On those trips, he acted as an agent of Captivated Health in procuring deals, including one with MCA, all without ever making any public disclosure of his vested interest during MCA’s meetings. What’s more, you have directed me to assist in the thwarting of the very job Mr. Moore was tasked to do to keep MCA in compliance – and when I would have none of it, you set your focus on me.
I have delayed implementing Captivated Health because of the illegality of the deal you and the other board members struck behind closed doors.
Wow…..The fact that the letter to Mrs Lichter and emails from staff members was posted to the website and almost immediately taken down, leads us to believe that Mrs. Vickaryous posted the documents with the intention of sharing them with the public and that a board member or the Executive Director, Mr. Hull subsequently removed them from the page to prevent the details of the contents from going public.
Once the meeting was underway, Kelly Lichter did some quick housekeeping and then stated that there had been an accusation by the Principal, Pam Vickaryous and that she believes that the Board should engage their regular attorney to investigate the accusations. Board member, Conrad Willkomm asked what specifically would the attorney be investigating. Kelly restated that they would be investigating the ‘accusations’ and would not provide further details. A motion was made, then seconded, unanimous approval….again.
There weren’t many people that had heard about this Captivated Health issue before this meeting, but there were a few that noticed when the school took steps to make the change in health insurance providers. What was this all about and how could it have gotten past everyone unnoticed that David Bolduc was involved with this company.
Some of the details are still a little fuzzy, but apparently in the Fall of 2019, Pam Vickaryous started to explore a change to a different health insurance provider at the request of David Bolduc. We don’t know the exact details of the conversations , but by October 2019, it was evident that Pamela Vickaryous and David Bolduc had visited the offices of Captivated Health in both Orlando and Boston.
The supposed goal of the visits was to understand the features and benefits of this new plan and how it would be administered if the Board chose to make the change. According to Pam Vickaryous, it appeared to her that David Bolduc was already acting as if he was an agent of the company all the way back in October.
Things progressed with Captivated Health and fast forward to March 2020 when David Bolduc put the vote to approve the change to Captivated Health on the Board Meeting for March 23, 2020. Additionally, a teleconference was organized with two representatives of the company to present the details of the change to the Board. When the actual meeting was held, only Kelly Lichter and Laura Mlinarich showed up for the meeting in person. Pearline Foster attended the meeting via telephone. Conrad Willkomm did not attend the meeting and neither did David Bolduc.
That’s strange……Bolduc put the health insurance item on the agenda and marked it to be an item in which the board would be required to vote. He was supposed to be the insurance ‘expert’. Why wasn’t he there? Who would be the representative of the board most qualified to answer other board member’s questions? This was troubling….
In retrospect, Some quick math made Bolduc’s absence from this meeting even more troubling. Bolduc was elected to the MCA Board on December 14, 2018, and of course this wouldn’t be an MCA event unless it produced a scandal……..once again they did not disappoint. He was voted in contrary to MCA Policy, as there was not an actual quorum present for the vote. Kelly would later argue that State law allowed for the vote to occur the way it did, but unfortunately, MCA Policy did not. MCA’s policy, which she voted in favor of, was more strict than state law and did not allow for him to be voted in without the physical presence of enough members to create a quorum. But, that’s another scandal for another day….
David Bolduc…..MCA Board Member…….. elected on December 14, 2018. Why is this significant? Since the date of his appointment, there have been 37 MCA Board meetings. In that time period which spanned 16 months since he was elected, he had missed a total of one Board Meeting. Just one.
He didn’t attend by phone ever…he was always present ……for the meetings…… in person….and he only missed ONE board meeting. That’s impressive!!! But the meeting that David Bolduc missed was the March 23, 2020 MCA Board Meeting, where the board needed to vote on the new health insurance provider. Why did he miss the meeting? Why did he put a voting item on the agenda if he was going to be absent? Who knows? But as these facts unfold….we can come up with a pretty good idea why he might want to miss this meeting.
So, the meeting was held on March 23rd, the Captivated Health representatives made their presentation and thanked the representative from MCA that had visited with them in both Orlando and Boston and then the board voted……WAIT….what? THE representative……singular? Hold on…..these meetings in Orlando and Boston were attended by Pam Vickaryous but they were also attended by David Bolduc. Why did they only thank Pam Vickaryous? Don’t you find that odd? If you’re selling your product to someone and want to thank them for coming to see you ….don’t you thank them? Why would you NOT thank David Bolduc too? Wait…that’s right…..Pam said that David Bolduc was working as an agent trying to sell Captivated Health’s services when he was in Orlando and Boston. You wouldn’t thank the customer for your own salesman’s efforts too….that wouldn’t make sense…now it makes sense……let’s move on.
The Board that was present voted unanimously to change to David Bolduc’s company, Captivated Health and the meeting ended shortly thereafter. And that’s the last we heard from the Captivated Health group……well that was the last we heard from them until they put out a press release two days later announcing David Bolduc’s appointment as the Director of the Southeast Region for their company. Two days…..hmmmmm….do you think they interviewed him the day after the meeting, made a decision to offer him the job as Director of Sales, and came up with a press release to post the next day at 8AM? Yeah….we know that didnt happen. According to Pamela Vickaryous, he was working for Captivated Health back in October promoting their business as an ‘agent’. Bolduc eventually admitted that he had been working for them since mid-February 2020.
Why is this a problem???? Well, it’s an ethical problem and against MCA Policy….but more importantly, it’s against Florida Law for a board member of a taxpayer funded agency to profit financially as a result of being that board member. He had a duty to disclose the relationship with the company and allow the board to discuss whether this was allowed or not. He had a duty to notify the attorney’s and let them review the information to determine whether it was legal for him to benefit from this relationship.
Why didn’t David Bolduc disclose to the Board about the potential conflict of interest before the vote? He states it would be a Board violation for him to notify the Board. What? How is that a violation? Kelly Lichter communicates every day and twice on Sunday in one way communications with the Board. Is that illegal? Why would it then be illegal for him to notify the Board?
OK….if he claims that it was illegal for him to notify the Board, then he should be able to notify them immediately at the next board meeting, right? Great….the next Board meeting was 3 days after the meeting in which Captivated Health was approved by the Board….March 26, 2020. Let’s see…what does the agenda say about David Bolduc……uhhhhh I see a Principal Report……I see a PreNegotiation Agreement…..I don’t see anything about David Bolduc disclosing this relationship.
Well, he won’t forget to bring that up at the meeting. It was too important. The meeting progressed….all Board Members were present. The formalities were quickly taken care of and then there was the Principal’s Report….nothing exciting there….now community comments….
Mrs. Miravalle stated that one parent had sent in a community comment to be read….the parent questioned whether there would be a password for an upcoming meeting and then made a comment that turned the visible board members stone faced. She said she was unable to listen to the meeting on the 23rd so she was unaware as to whether David Bolduc had attended the meeting and whether the other Board Members were aware of his employment with Captivate Health. If you watch the meeting…which we will post this week….you will see the three visible board members, kelly, david and laura sit there stone faced and unsurprised. Why? Were the other board members not surprised about this revelation? They didn’t look confused…..they didnt look angered….they didnt look anything……..they already knew.
Ok….well…they dont often reply to community comments….but Bolduc will definitely respond now that he’s been called out…….they moved on to an agreement related to the Joseph Bairdlawsuit and then to board comments. David Bolduc said ………………..NOTHING.
How is this possible? Is the board going to ignore the fact that Bolduc works for the newly voted for health insurance provider? When was Bolduc going to respond to this or was he ever going to respond to this?
The next day….Scott Moore, the compliance officer sent the Board a Notice of Policy Violation. His notice pointed out to the Board that there was a possible conflict of interest in conducting the transaction and that David Bolduc had a duty to disclose the relationship.
Another MCA meeting was set for April 14, 2020.
The agenda for this meeting alluded to some sort of fireworks, but I don’t think anyone would have anticipated what was to come, except for Kelly Lichter, Laura Miller Mlinarich and David Bolduc, who had obviously planned the outcome beforehand.
Once the formalities were out of the way for the April 14th meeting, the parent comments revealed the strategy of how the Board was going to address the insurance scandal. Mr. Whitehead, who does not typically comment during the parents comment portion of the meetings, said he wanted to ‘share’ his feelings with the board about the new healthcare plan. He admitted he is not a participant in the current healthcare plan, but expressed concern about switching plans during a pandemic and shared that ‘many’ of the mca employees were unduly worried about the change at a time where everything was so uncertain.
He suggested that the board might revisit a change such as this when the chaos from the pandemic had settled down.
It was obviously a scripted speech that had been choreographed by the Board to give them another option for scrapping the change to Captivated Health and to save face rather than embarrass Bolduc more than he already had been when the scheme was exposed.
Once the subject changed to the policy violation…David Bolduc immediately went on the attack. He started by reading a statement directed to Mr. Moore and attacked him for having sent out a notice of violation that Bolduc felt was completely unfounded and not true. However, Mr. Bolduc’s only defense was that he wasn’t at the meeting where the vote took place so he couldn’t notify the Board of the conflict.
Mr. Bolduc, however, also did not mention that he had been an employee or agent of Captivated Health since February 18th, some 34 days prior to the March 23 meeting during which the vote took place. Nor did he mention that there were 3 Board meetings after his employment by captivated health and before the March 23rd vote. Why didn’t he disclose the relationship then.
Mr. Bolduc alleged that Scott Moore was working in congress with Principal Vickaryous to do harm to the school and the Board’s reputation by sending out this notice and listed other events that he believed supported his accusation that Mr. Moore was working on his own agenda.
Once Mr. Bolduc had finished his statement……something that I have not seen in an MCA Board meeting occurred. One MCA Board member went completely off script and stood up for Mr. Moore. Conrad Willkomm immediately spoke up against what Bolduc had stated and said that his statement had totally deflected the issue….remember “deflect & attack”. He stated that Bolduc had not addressed the obvious conflict of interest in allowing a vote for the change in health insurance and admonished him for attacking Mr. Moore in an attempt to detract from the real issue.
Bolduc immediately defended himself by stating that the school attorney had told him that it would be sunshine law violation to discuss the conflict with other board members outside a board meeting. THIS WAS TRUE. But you have to listen closely to what he was saying. He could not discuss the violation with the Board….that would have been an improper meeting. HOWEVER, he absolutely could have sent a message to every board member either (a) stating the facts of the conflict OR (b) simply telling them there’s a potential conflict and there should not be a vote before Mr. Bolduc disclosed the details. That was all that was needed to stop the vote on the change in healthcare plan.
Mr. Bolduc was trying to mislead everyone into believing that he couldn’t communicate the issue to the board legally, so he decided to wait. Unfortunately, this deception wasn’t a very good attempt at covering up his scheme, as there was a board meeting just three days later when the parent pointed out the conflict and Bolduc declined to comment, even though there was a board comment session after the parent pointed out the issue.
This deception did not get past Willkomm either, who pointed out that he had every opportunity to disclose the conflict at the meeting on the 26th and he failed to do so.
Bolduc did reveal that he had disclosed the possibility of a relationship to the attorney, but he failed to reveal that he had actually talked to the attorney back in EARLY February. Of course, Kelly Lichter chimed in and said the school attorney said that it wasn’t a violation because Bolduc didn’t vote. Which was incorrect or a lie…because the failure to disclose the relationship is absolutely a violation.
Laura Miller, on cue, jumped in and supported the attack on Scott Moore.
They moved on to discuss whether there was an actual conflict of interest. Bolduc said he was ‘working’ with the school attorney to develop this disclosure….and apparently it took from February 6th when Bolduc informed the attorney about the need to disclose until April 14th when Bolduc finally made his disclosure.
It took less time to draft the Declaration of Independence than it took to draft this disclosure.
Laura Miller chimed in and stated that she wished she knew about the violation before the vote on the insurance. Of course Mr. Bolduc corrected her and said that the attorney stated it wasn’t a violation, but it was potentially a conflict. At this point he was still trying to sell insurance by quoting a statement that ‘not all conflicts are prohibited or harmful. Guess what….this one was prohibited!!!
Once Bolduc left the room…Kelly said that she thought his reputation was good and she didn’t believe that he was trying to be deceptive and maybe it was or wasn’t a conflict. Willkomm rejected the argument that it might not be a conflict. Kelly stated she was confused on how to move forward.
Unfortunately, Laura Miller didn’t read her script closely enough and stated that she thought it would have been a different situation if Bolduc had accepted the job with Captivated Health BEFORE the vote on changing insurance…..she said it wouldn’t make sense that he didn’t notify the board prior to the 23rd if he had already been employed, but since he accepted the job after the vote, it wasn’t a violation. OOOOOOOPPPPPPSSSSS…..he actually accepted the job a full 34 days before the vote on the change.
Willkomm made a motion to vote that this was a conflict of interest. No one would second the motion.
They brought Bolduc back in the room and moved on to revisit the vote on Captivated Health.
Laura Miller read her script about maybe changing her mind on the insurance based SOLELY on the chaos brought on by Covid19 and NOT based on the fact that David Bolduc was going to receive a financial benefit from continuing on with the new company. Then she attacked Pam Vickaryous because Mrs. Vickaryous told her she had recommended waiting to vote.
Mrs Miller said that she didn’t remember her Mrs. Vickaryous voicing her opinion to wait on the vote and then asked Mrs. Foster if she remembered any such statements by Mrs. Vikcaryous. Mrs. Foster did not remember that either
Pamela Vickaryous defended herself, but not to Laura Miller’s liking, who said that if she had any inclination that Mrs. Vickaryous wanted to wait to vote on the new insurance she would have never agreed to continue with a vote on the 23rd. So basically….. Laura Miller called her a liar and moved on.
Apparently Mrs. Miller was a little overwhelmed with the insurance discussion on March 23, because a quick review of the video of that meeting revealed that at 44 minutes and 12 second into that meeting, Mrs. Miller asks what Mrs. Vickaryous thinks about moving forward with a vote on that day.
Mrs Vickaryous replied to Mrs. Miller, that they may want to wait based on the fact that they would be receiving the renewal rates for the current insurance company in short order and they might want to compare the renewal to the new plan before acting. OOOOOOOOPPPPSSSSS again. Laura Miller was really having a rough go of it with calendars and recalling details on this day.
The discussion continued and the end result was that the Board voted unanimously to rescind their vote on changing to Captivated Health, to the chagrin of David Bolduc, who tried to argue for moving forward with Captivated Health multiple times before the vote.
I’m sure that embarrassment played a big part in what would come next.
The last item that was addressed was Scott Moore. Kelly Mason Lichter stated that she had spoken to both attorneys, the attorney that represented the board in regular matters AND the attorney that was representing the board in suing Joseph Baird. She said that both attorneys thought that Scott Moore should be terminated. Laura Miller read her script about supporting the termination and then the Board voted 4 to 1 to terminate Mr. Moore, with Conrad Willkomm the only dissenting vote on the termination.
The meeting ended quickly after the vote.
It was no surprise that Scott Moore’s attorney filed a lawsuit against Mason Classical Academy shortly after his termination and as the MCA Board commits more and more of the school’s resources to litigation, it will be interesting to see how long MCA can continue at the pace this board has been burning through funds.