According to a report by Project Veritas, a media group that has released a series of undercover videos exposing groups such as the Democratic National Committee and Planned Parenthood,  Michigan American Federation of Teachers negotiated a payout of $50,000 from the Lake City, Michigan, school district to a teacher who was alleged to have molested a third-grade student. 

This came after the local school superintendent had tried to terminate the teacher. The union negotiated for the pay out and to allow the teacher to resign and remain a teacher in good standing. The attorney for the union told the teacher in question that the organization would find a way for him to resign quietly and “make it convenient” for him to leave. 

Lake City is located approximately 200 miles northwest of Detroit on Lake Missaukee in Michigan’s lower peninsula.

The former teacher has denied any wrongdoing and was never charged. A field representative for AFT said of the teacher, according to Project Veritas, “He knows what he did, if he did something inappropriate… he wanted to run.”

The report came as Project Veritas released an undercover video, as well as documents obtained from the affiliate office of AFT in Lake City, Michigan. A federal judge ruled in favor of Project Veritas despite claims AFT made on two occasions to halt the release of the video. Project Veritas decided to withhold the identity of the former teacher because he was never charged or arrested.

Project Veritas’s undercover video recorded AFT Union Representative Johnny Mickles revealing how AFT and the Lake City Michigan school district defended the alleged child molesting teacher. Redacted documents from the AFT office, available here, corroborate the events.

According to a Lake City Area Schools document, obtained by Project Veritas: 

“It is alleged that [REDACTED] engaged in a course of inappropriate conduct with one of the District’s female students. (Jane Doe) who was aged 7 or 8 at the time…”

According to the police report, the incident occurred some time in 2006, but was not reported until 2013 when the alleged victim happened to become a student of the teacher. Mickles, who represented the teacher, corroborates this in a meeting with a Project Veritas undercover journalist: “When the student got to his class… apparently all these memories she had suppressed came out… And she went to the superintendent and basically spilled her guts and the superintendent terminated the teacher.”

According to Mickles, the school superintendent wanted to terminate the teacher, but AFT negotiated with the district to allow the teacher to resign, retain his teaching certificate, and receive six weeks’ pay and $50,000. Mickles said, “He was terminated but we negotiated a resignation for him… he didn’t lose his [teaching] certification.” Mickles goes on to say, “… he got to be on leave until they drew up the settlement and then he got, like, the rest of the school year’s pay out… He got about six weeks of pay I think… and then he got a $50,000 pay out.”

The former teacher in question, when speaking with a separate undercover journalist, admitted to the accusations and the union’s help. He said, “There was a situation where somebody accused me of something that I didn’t do… So I finally said, you know what, I’m just going to retire…There were no charges. Nothing ever came of it.” He goes on to say, “There was an incident, they said there was a gal that I had dated and she had a daughter and there was an accusation that had something to do with her daughter which wasn’t true.”

The former teacher also described his dealings with the AFT attorney: “I mean the attorney told me, ‘hey, in situations where somebody accuses you of something, you might as well- you know what? Chances are they’ll find a way to make it convenient for you to leave.’ That’s what he said.”

According to James O’Keefe, the president of Project Veritas, “For the record, this former teacher was never charged and never arrested in this case. All we know is that the union, AFT Michigan, and the Lake City Area schools had a problem: A teacher was accused of a serious crime and the solution they came up with was to pay the teacher a bucket of money so he would just go away. If he wanted to go teach somewhere else, so be it. It would be someone else’s problem, and the parent’s would be none the wiser.”




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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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