Mustang School Board votes to terminate Chuck Bailey as Athletic Director after public hearing Friday
Mustang Public Schools’ Board of Education voted to terminate Chuck Bailey as Athletic Director after a hearing at Canyon Ridge Intermediate School Friday.
Superintendent Sean McDaniel recommended the dismissal on July 19 after discovering Bailey used a MPS letterhead and his signature as athletic director in a letter written to an Oklahoma County judge in 2015. The letter was on behalf of an incarcerated family member up for a one-year review on his sentence.
McDaniel explained during testimony that the use of Bailey’s “capacity” as athletic director in the letter violated four different Mustang school board policies and a conflict of interest clause stating administrators cannot use their position for personal gain with a third party. He also said that the content of the letter was not as much of a concern as Bailey’s use of the MPS letterhead and his position, claiming any one of the four policy violations were grounds for termination.
“It is more about the letterhead than what he said in the letter,” McDaniel explained during cross-examination. “If he had sent it on black and white paper without those things we wouldn’t be talking about this.”
McDaniel also explained Bailey “never conceded” on any wrongdoing with “consistent justification” during multiple meetings between the two and that now it has become a question of trust.
“He never showed any acknowledgment of doing anything wrong and that convinced me that in the future it might be deliberate. That is putting personal over district and that violates my trust.”
Bailey’s attorney, Bryan Young, asked McDaniel about the now former athletic director’s status as a support-employee for the district. He stated the due process for administrators and support-employees is different. However in re-direct, McDaniel’s attorney, Bryan Drummond, said the due process for administrators is more stringent and that it made no difference whether the board viewed Bailey as an administrator or a support-employee.
Young also questioned McDaniel about a press release published on the district’s website expressing support for longtime Mustang teacher Mike Mason as a candidate for state senate last month.
“I made the mistake of endorsing Mike Mason,” McDaniel answered. “We had it taken down and we self-reported ourselves and I personally called the incumbent and apologized.”
When asked about the difference between he and Bailey violating procedures, McDaniel said he admitted to his mistake and that he believes Bailey doesn’t think he has done anything wrong.
Bailey, a former coach and administrator at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, took the stand as the defense’s second witness.
“I wrote [the letter] to get him another chance,” Bailey said during testimony. “I didn’t ask for his release and he didn’t get released until one year after the letter. I’ve tried to help kids who end up on the wrong side of the street. I’ve written letters of recommendation multiple times using Mustang’s letterhead and UCO’s letterhead.
“A lot of good things have happened in my eight years with the community and I would like to continue as the athletic director. I don’t believe the termination is warranted.”
During cross-examination, Bailey explained that his nephew’s crime consisted of filming a “13 or 14 year-old” girl in a bathroom at with a cell phone. He also disagreed with the letterhead being personal use, explaining that he introduces himself and goes by his title as athletic director with MPS on a daily basis.
“I’m Chuck Bailey, Athletic Director of Mustang Public Schools. That’s who I am and who I was that day.”
Bailey and his defense also referred to the First Amendment and the right to free speech, however, McDaniel’s attorney rebutted, stating when using job capacity, the right is waived.
The school board reached its decision after nearly two hours in executive session and after voting to adopt findings of fact, they unanimously voted to immediately terminate Bailey from his position.
McDaniel told KFOR NewsChannel 4 that he is not yet sure who will replace Bailey. Bailey’s defense also told the news station they will look to pursue legal action against the school district.