News & Politics

Project Veritas: MI Teachers' Union Negotiates $50,000 Payout for Teacher Accused of Child Molestation

Johnny Mickles, American Federation of Teachers, Michigan. Image Via YouTube.

Project Veritas released an explosive video early Wednesday morning, revealing how a teacher’s union in Michigan protected a teacher accused of sexually molesting a little girl.

This is the video the American Federation of Teachers union (AFT) fought a legal battle to prevent you from seeing. On Tuesday, AFT was denied its emergency motion for a temporary restraining order against Project Veritas. Randi Weingarten, the president of AFT, responded to the decision in a press release, claiming that Project Veritas obtained video “in direct violation of Michigan law,” despite the court ruling that found no evidence of any illegal activity.

According to Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe, yesterday’s decision was AFT’s second failed attempt to deny First Amendment rights to the investigative journalism organization.

O’Keefe opted to keep the identity of the now former Michigan teacher anonymous because he was never charged or arrested, although O’Keefe points out that there was “damning evidence against him.”

According to a Lake City Area School district document: 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 … ” .

The alleged sexual abuse occurred between five and ten times, according to the document.

The superintendent reportedly wanted to terminate the teacher, but the union negotiated a resignation with the district which allowed him to keep his teaching certificate — and included a $50,000 buyout.

“He was terminated but we negotiated a resignation for him … he didn’t lose his [teaching] certification,” said AFT Union Representative, Johnny Mickles, who represented the teacher. “He got to be on leave until they drew up the settlement and then he got, like, the rest of the school year’s payout … He got about six weeks of pay I think … and then he got a $50,000 payout.”

The teacher had allegedly molested the young daughter of a woman he was dating in 2006, according to the police report. The alleged abuse was not reported until 2013 — when the girl became a student of her former abuser.

Mickles explained what happened during 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,” he said. “They say she totally changed, and it wasn’t until she had this person as a teacher,” Mickles said. “That’s why the superintendent was like ‘something happened.’ Her grades went down.”

He added: “He knows what he did,” Mickles said. “If he did something inappropriate, he knew it came back on him, and he wanted to run.”

According to Project Veritas, the teacher is no longer in the education profession and has left Michigan. He denied the accusations when contacted by O’Keefe.

“I said, ‘I’ll retire,'” the former teacher said. “‘And here’s the conditions: I want this much pay until this date.’ And I went to the attorney, for the school’s attorney, the teacher’s union attorney, and they said ‘we’ll pay you to this date and we’ll each go our own way.’ I said ‘that’s fine.'”

ATF president Randi Weingarten said this in response to the Michigan video: “The union and district officials worked together to separate a teacher from service and make sure students were protected.”

O’Keefe replied: “Then why did the teacher get to keep his certification?”

ATF also weighed in on Twitter, suggesting that O’Keefe’s sting was part of an “extreme right wing effort “to dismantle unions”:

ATF should be feeling nervous, as O’Keefe has promised to release “many more videos” in the days to come exposing corrupt union officials across the nation.

O’Keefe’s videos exposing two corrupt union presidents in New Jersey forced both of them to resign almost immediately, and the NJ Senate president quickly announced hearings to investigate the NJEA, the state’s teachers’ union.