The Great Preble Shawnee Shakedown

On June 18 the Register Herald reported the Preble Shawnee school district would once again put a tax increase on the November ballot.  Prior to that date there were questions raised on the financing of the school district’s previous campaigns. After two defeats by taxpayers it was decided that in the interest of public unity to not proceed with the financing inquiry. After the district leadership made the decision to move forward a third time a public records request was made on June 21, the email below was sent.

The resulting response has become known as “The Great Preble Shawnee Shakedown”.  A public entity putting pressure on vendors to financially support a campaign to raise taxes.  Read the requests and make up your own mind if this amounts to a kick-back scheme, a shakedown or should be an accepted policy.



 1. a percentage of income given to a person in a position of power or influence as payment for having made the income possible: usually considered improper or unethical.

2. a rebate, usually given secretively by a seller to a buyer or to one who influenced the buyer.

3.the practice of an employer or a person in a supervisory position of taking back a portion of the wages due workers.


    Dr. Matt M. Bishop, Superintendent



From: eric white []
Sent: Wednesday, June 21, 2017 1:33 PM
To: Matt Bishop <>
Subject: public records request/ Preble Shawnee Schools


Dr. Bishop;  I am requesting the following documents and records maintained by your office and in your custody, be made available to me immediately for inspection, and if requested copies:

         From January 1, 2016 to date any and all correspondence asking vendors doing business with Preble Shawnee Local School for donations for either or the election on November 8th 2016 or May 2nd 2017. Also any amounts collected, proof of deposit as what account any funds may have went into as well as expenditures related to these funds that may have been collected. If you deny that such correspondence has never existed, I would like names and address's of all of the school's vendors.

In the event that you determine portions of the requested materials are exempt from disclosure, please be advised that I am specifically requesting that you do not destroy or alter any of the requested documents or records. Rather, this e-mail is an explicit request that you preserve all the requested documents and records in their original form. Further, a determination by you that the requested documents and materials are not covered by Ohio's Public Records law will result in my filing a Mandamus action in the Ohio Supreme Court with you as the respondent.

  Please contact me within 7 working days so that a prompt and reasonable time me be scheduled for inspection pursuant to R.C. 194.43. I would prefer to be contacted by e-mail at or phone @ 937 533 9600. I appreciated the promptness of my first request but realize this is a larger request.

                                                                                              In Liberty, Eric White

Here is the first of 46 letters received in the open records request. This one is asking for 1%:


Click the images to enlarge them.
















Leave a Reply