After hearing the results of the ILG Investigation; all reports of sexual assault claims Unsubstantiated, I did not expect to be driving down to a Denver Public School (DPS) Board meeting today, to report on a Board vote to censure Tay Anderson. At no time in its history has the DPS Board ever voted to censure a member.
In fact, when another Board member, Brad Laurvick, was accused of sexual misconduct, no investigation was conducted.
After reading the 96 page report in full, it still does not make sense to me why the DPS Board would be censuring this 22-year-old black leader.
How could a man who was, by all investigations, falsely accused by a single, white woman who was found to be uncredible, of 62 acts of sexual assault (in a 5 month period, be facing a second “trial” after the evidence has been found unsubstantiated?
But that is exactly what is happening today at noon when the DPS Board is voting to censure the state’s youngest elected official for, what is essentially, a Bug Bunny cartoon and two chat messages.
While passionate about this situation, Jeff Fard has done extensive coverage of the details, the political motivations, and the facts. Regardless of the relationship these individuals may have with Tay Anderson, the fact remains, Jeff Fard and his guests have provided knowledge and detailed information that should be paid attention to in regards to the possible motives around this vote, and even the original accusations.
Currently, with School Board meetings from BVSD, SVVSD, Adams12, and so many other School Districts making the news because of the mask mandates and CRT (Critical Race Theory) debates, this situation in Denver is important to follow.
It is well known, the GOP is working hard to get candidates elected that will oppose teaching race and equality. Additionally, many of their candidates are known conspiracy theorists regarding COVID and vaccines. These are big budgets: DPS has a $730 Million dollar a year budget and approximately a Billion-Dollar in Real Estate assets.
September 16th, 2021 Jeff Fard show:
If you have not followed the story, DPS Director, Tay Anderson, 23, was accused of 62 acts of sexual assault by a single woman named Mary Katherine Brooks-Fleming (also known as MK). In the ILG Report, Brooks-Fleming describes herself as the “Secretary of the Revolution”. Yellow Scene Magazine’s investigative report, ‘Evidence Emerges; Tay Anderson Controversy’, was a major component of this investigation and brought relevant new information to it.
From the report, page 71, ILG has found Mary Katherine Brooks-Fleming’s report to be inconsistent, incredible, and uncooperative.
Overall, Reporter 1’s claims were not corroborated by any firsthand or secondhand witnesses or evidence and were not corroborated by her own statements, which were inconsistent. This lack of credible evidence was a critical factor in my finding.
Reporter 1 presented two inconsistent chronologies, without sufficient detail that could be checked, specific witnesses who could be interviewed, or specific descriptions of sexual assault or misconduct that Director Anderson could respond to. She did not provide critically necessary data for us to investigate these serious allegations, despite being asked to do so six times. Her inability or unwillingness to provide this information undermined the credibility of her account.
Moreover, Reporter 1 has allegedly not retained, or has discarded, evidence that would have proven valuable in investigating this claim. Reporter 1 allegedly kept a written log of victims and events on a white board in her living room, but she stated that she erased it. Her care in allegedly writing down these events, and then her decision not to preserve her white board after making these accusations public, is inexplicable. Reporter 1 allegedly erased texts, IMs and social media messages from alleged victims. Her decision to not retain evidence undermines her credibility, given her stated objective of helping these individuals and giving them a voice. Instead, she apparently discarded evidence needed to support the allegations. As such, we were unable to establish that such relevant material evidence exists (or ever existed).
Additionally, Report 1’s statements about these events changed and were not consistent.
Inconsistency can undermine the credibility of evidence in some cases. Here it does so, because the change in the timeline appears to have been purposeful. Reporter 1 amended her timeline from her interview to her written timeline, seemingly to reconcile her actions with her allegations of sexual assault. According to her interview, her public statement praising Director Anderson would have happened after two rape victims came to her door. Moreover, her social media post inviting him to speak at an event for homeless youth would have occurred, according to her interview, after she received 62 complaints of sexual assault and misconduct.
That said, Reporter 1 is a self-identified sexual assault victim. As noted above, if she did indeed receive these dozens of allegations of the sexual assault, it likely would have been traumatizing for her. Trauma impacts the way a person can recollect data and their ability to recall (and describe) events linearly. Inconsistencies in statements are not unusual where trauma is involved.
However, the changes in the chronology are not just fuzzy timing, but are a serious disassociation between Reporter 1’s actions and her allegations. She made public statements praising Director Anderson, inviting him to an event with homeless youth after allegedly receiving reports of rape against him. Subsequently, after making the allegations, Reporter 1 said on Facebook that she was “on his side.” This fact pattern goes beyond an ability to remember a consistent chronology. She affirmatively put out positive information about a person who, at this point in time, she believed to be a serial rapist.
Finally, it must be noted that these allegations are objectively implausible on their face. The first reason is the sheer number of alleged victims over a very short time frame. Reporter 1 said that 50 of the 62 alleged victims described historic mistreatment to her (either directly or second-hand, depending upon which statement of hers you consider). Even so, this leaves 12 alleged rape victims by a single perpetrator over 64 days,149 during a time when DPS was on remote learning. This means that approximately every 5 days, Director Anderson would have had to select a new victim, build trust, find a way to be alone with them, and commit a rape. It also means that each of these 12 victims would have had to independently determine that no one could help them except for Reporter 1, a white woman with no ability to provide medical treatment, counseling, legal support or even conversational support in Spanish.
The idea that these students allegedly went to Reporter 1, instead of seeking help from the many
resources in the Latinx community, is implausible. It is not believable that this many assaults occurred without any teachers, parents, friends, ministers, guidance counselors or other trusted adults becoming aware. It is not plausible that not even a single witness would have attempted to contact us.
For these reasons, the allegation of 62 events of rape and sexual misconduct by Director Anderson against undocumented / DACA DPS students is Not Substantiated.
By all appearances, political motives could very likely be a big part of this entire story from the very beginning. Brooks-Fleming appears to have ties to Joseph Camp, a known online bully. Mr. Camp spent time in prison for hacking his college to change his student debt and was recently found to be part of the hack of Epik, an organization that helped contribute to hate speech through the elections.
Starting with unsubstantiated accusations of sexual assault hurled at a young, black man with a rising career, who is known for speaking out and fighting systemic racism, and Brooks-Fleming, a white woman who does not speak Spanish, and who has been found to be unreliable in her testimony.
It is important to note, under Tay Anderson’s direction, SRO’s (School Resource Officers) were removed from DPS, and he has actively helped fight against the take over of public schools by Charter enterprises.
For those that do not want to read a 96-page investigation here is our synopsis:
The report acknowledges both the historical racism targeting of black men, as well as the reasons assault victims would be afraid to report their attack.
There were 5 points they were asked to investigate by DPS:
Tay Anderson is found to be credible in his testimony:
- Tay Anderson fully cooperated with the investigation.
- Tay Anderson held himself accountable for his behaviors.
- Tay Anderson consistently denied assaulting anyone.
- Tay Anderson provided documentation for the investigation.
Brooks-Fleming has credibility concerns:
- Mary Katherine Brooks Fleming spoke on behalf of the complainant in her interview with Yellow Scene Magazine.
- Brooks-Fleming joked about owning a strip club in the YS interview.
- While some details of the assault told through Brooks-Fleming did check out, there were significant discrepancies that cast questions over the claim. One of which was Tay Anderson was not employed at the place of business at the time that was claimed and there is evidence that the complainant and Tay Anderson did not know each other prior.
- Brooks-Fleming seemed to time her testimony of 62 unreported assaults which she made at the Colorado State Capitol timed with the 20th Anniversary of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
- Brooks-Fleming was highly inconsistent in her reporting and even changed her story after being interviewed.
- Brooks-Fleming did not report any of the complaints she claims were made to her, and not only did she not provide evidence, but she also claims to have erased the evidence she claims to have had.
- Brooks-Fleming is a highly unlikely figure that DACA students would have turned to, considering she was not known for doing work within the Latina/Latino community, does not speak Spanish and not a single report was made to any organization, parent, or teacher.
The complainant has credibility concerns:
- The complainant retracted their statement with YS Magazine publisher.
- The complainant stated; “This whole thing was MK”
- The complainant provided Joseph Camp, a known online “super-troll”, information about protestors at an Elijah McClain protest.
- The complainant was very close to Brooks-Fleming.
- The complainant invited Tay Anderson to an event in a friendly chat message.
- The complainant refused to speak to the investigation.
BLM5280 has credibility concerns:
- There appears to be potential bias by the leaders of BLM5280.
- There have been previous conflicts between Tay Anderson and BLM5280.
- BLM5280 has a history of falsely accusing other black men of sexual assault (while the report only addressed one instance, YS is aware of 3 additional black men in leadership roles that have had unverified accusations made toward them).
- BLM5280 does not allow CisGender men into their organization.
- BLM5280 posts anonymously and leadership is unknown.
Never Again Colorado:
- Tay Anderson was the President of this teen-led organization when he was 19.
- Written documentation shows Tay Anderson was accused of dominating the other board members in decision making, but not accused of sexual misconduct.
- The entire Board spent time at the home of Madison Rose, who was 24 and the oldest of the group, “partying”. She would buy these underage teens alcohol and was having relations with a 17-year-old student.
- The other Board members of the now-defunct organization reported they would play “Never Have I Never”, “Spin the Bottle” and other party games.
- Tay Anderson apologized for his over-bearing behavior and stepped down as President.
- While it was found that most likely Tay Anderson participated in the environment including making sexual advances, it is also found that the entire group participated.
Conduct while a DPS employee:
- Of the 96 page report, 13 of these were redacted in this section.
- The overall finding was Unsubstantiated, however, because of the redaction it is unknown what the investigation was about.
Conduct while running for, or as a member of the DPS Board of Education:
Social Media Chats “Googley Eyes”
- Tay Anderson engaged in two social media conversations with a 16-year-old female that was friendly, but not sexual in tone. This message was provided to the investigation in an effort to be transparent but was not part of the original investigation.
- Tay Anderson states he did not know their age, but when he learned of their age, ceased communication immediately.
Social Media Bugs Bunny
- Tay Anderson was heavily targeted by Joseph Camp.
- Joseph Camp created false text messages regarding conversations with YS clients (confirmed with these business owners) and it is suspected he also created fake texts surrounding these accusations that were picked up by Darcy Schoening of the right-wing blog, The Herald.
- The image is of Bugs Bunny with Yosemite Sam pointing a gun at Bugs Bunny. It reads; “Do it Bitch”.
- Tay Anderson states this image, which was on his personal social media page for 3 hours, was in response to the many death threats and harassment he and his family have experienced from this ordeal.
- Two people reached out to ILG to report they felt it was meant to intimidate them although the post does not address anyone specifically and states:
- “When you’re used to life f*cking you up and don’t give a shit anymore”.
- While the investigation indicated they could see how the use of the word “bitch” would be aimed at women, in this context that seems unlikely. It could also be seen as a statement of frustration, and feelings of giving up.
Social Media “I will not retaliate”
- Tay Anderson also put a post up “to people who have engaged in conversation disparaging my name over the last few months. If you commented, liked a comment, made a post/tweet, or even a simple DM. I have your name, I won’t retaliate against you whatsoever. Here is the warning do not speak to me ever again. I will literally act like you do not exist.” He later added to the post he wanted a Restorative Justice process to take place.
- One school board member reported they felt it was a threat to retaliate against them, even tho Director Anderson’s post states “I won’t retaliate”.
- It is these last issues of the social media posts and the chats that the DPS Board is working to censure Director Tay Anderson.
- The charge appears to be led by School Board member Brad Laurvick, who initially called for the resignation of Director Tay Anderson before the investigation was complete.
Equally irresponsible has been the hedge-fund owned, Denver Post, who conducted the same interview YS did with Brooks-Fleming and the complainant but never reported that Brooks-Fleming did all the speaking in the interview. Knowing this their editorial board also called for Tay Anderson to step down before investigations were complete. Rather than correcting these missteps, in yesterday’s article, the headline written was purposefully misleading and did not cover the scope of the circumstances.
As we are witnessing here in Boulder County, school board races have become political hotspots across the country. There are big budgets at stake and political motives in winning.
As discussed on the Jeff Fard show last night, Margaret Fogarty, Margaret Bobb, Carol March, sent a letter to the Denver Public School Board asking them to reconsider their vote to censure, which appears excessive in light of the findings. They requested the DPS Board pursue Restorative Justice resolutions instead.
To: Denver Public Schools Board of Education
From: Margaret Fogarty, Margaret Bobb, Carol March
Subject: Stop the Censure
Date: September 16, 2021
We’re writing today to implore you to reconsider asking for a censure vote of Director Tay Anderson and instead look to initiate a restorative justice process at the Friday meeting.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge that the allegations against Director Anderson were serious, and we were fully supportive of a complete and thorough investigation. However, after reviewing the Investigation Legal Group’s findings we take umbrage with the disregard for the initial scope, timeline and budget that was laid out for the investigation. Given the findings, the scope creep was wasteful, and this entire exercise appears to be a politically motivated hit job with white supremacy, ageism and retribution influencing the Board’s actions.
What purpose does censure serve beyond further shaming your colleague who has already paid a high price including severe and permanent reputational damage, mental trauma, and threats of physical violence to himself and his loved ones?
Below we’ve summarized our perspective on why censure is a cruel and unnecessary step to conclude an already brutal and unwieldy process.
1. The investigation found nothing substantiated in relation to the original allegations it was commenced to address.
2. Given the extremely serious nature of the original allegations and the initial scope of the investigation, nothing that was substantiated in the report is relevant or worthy of further scrutiny.
3. Therefore, in fact there is only one substantiated aspect related to the original investigation, which according to the report, was an online interaction with a student that took place over the course of several days and was not sexual in nature.
4. Including Director Anderson’s conduct prior to being a board member, which he’d already discussed and apologized for publicly, was absolutely unnecessary and a complete waste of time and resources.
5. There is no precedent for censure and Director Anderson did not violate the board’s code of conduct.
Disagreeing with Director Anderson’s approach to policy and communications is certainly understandable, but the action the Board has taken over the past six months has perpetuated innumerable headlines suggesting he’s a sexual predator. The ILG report found those allegations to be unsubstantiated, but that genie cannot be put back in the bottle. You have one final decision to make on this matter. We ask that you initiate the restorative justice process immediately instead of calling for an unwarranted censure vote of Director Anderson.
As the reporter who conducted the initial investigation it raises enormous questions if the DPS Board moves to censure Tay Anderson for “google eyes” and Bugs Bunny memes.