Limestone County school system puts human resources director on leave, launches probe

Samuel Isley

The Limestone County school system says it has placed its executive director of human resources on paid administrative leave and is launching a probe into his employment.

Posted: Jan 27, 2020 4:43 PM
Updated: Jan 28, 2020 7:05 PM

Update: On Tuesday, Shane Sears, who says he represents Isley, provided this statement:

“... To place a school administrator on Administrative leave due to “rumors” or what someone “insinuated” shows a callous disregard and reckless indifference to Dr. Isley and his position within the school system. This statement also tells us that the school district has no facts to suggest that Dr. Mark Isley did anything wrong.

We were equally appalled to learn that this action of placing Dr. Mark Isley on administrative leave was allegedly not punitive. Clearly, it was punitive. The Limestone County School Board issued a public statement telling the world Dr. Isley was being placed on administrative leave, that within itself is punitive in nature and affects Dr. Isley’s reputation in the education community. Then, he was escorted from the building by law enforcement and was visually searched as he removed his personal property from a county vehicle. Dr. Isley has not been charged with any crime.

The Interim Superintendent, Mike Owens, was previously quoted to a Huntsville T.V. station as saying “We do everything in public, we do nothing in the dark. We hang our dirty laundry and our clean laundry, for everybody to see.” Here, Superintendent Owens operates in the dark, in the shadows, because he does not want everyone to know that this is a politically motivated removal and that he has no evidence to support any wrongdoing by Dr. Isley. He should be ashamed. The state of Alabama Department of Education will be contacted to determine if a takeover of the school system is warranted due to the poor leadership being shown at top levels.”

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Original story:

The Limestone County school system says it has placed its executive director of human resources on paid administrative leave and is launching a probe into his employment.

Dr. Samuel Isley was placed on leave effective immediately, according to a release from the school system Monday afternoon.

The release says the board will conduct an internal investigation concerning Isley and his employment with Limestone County Schools.

He has been with Limestone County Board of Education since September 2018.

After the school system released the information, Shane Sears, a lawyer who says he represents Isley, issued this statement: 

"After Dr. Isley was placed on administrative leave, within hours, we demanded to know the reason. Instead of providing us the reason, the Limestone County School Board’s attorney responded that 'there is no obligation on the part of a Superintendent to provide a reason for placing someone on administrative leave with pay.'

"This cowardly action by the Limestone County School Board denies Dr. Isley the right to due process and the ability to clear his name of any false allegations against him. He has been defamed by this action and will vigorous defend his good name and character.

"Clearly, the interim superintendent is playing politics. This action is deplorable and should concern the employees of the school district and all of the citizens of Limestone County."

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