Everman Says ‘Not One Cent’ Misused During More Than Two Decades-Long Tenure On Western Heights School Board

The former Western Heights School Board president sat down with News 9 to discuss his departure from the board.

Wednesday, November 16th 2022, 8:52 pm


Robert Everman stepped down from his post as President of the Western Heights Board of Education Tuesday. He told News 9 he considered leaving the district for years but stayed to see through two separate legal battles with the state department of education.  

“I didn't want to do it right before an election and make it look like I was trying to affect anything or do anything,” Everman said.  

Robert Sharpe, the board’s vice president, and fellow member Linda Farley both announced their resignations on the same day as Everman. He said the timing was coincidental.  

“I told (Sharpe) that I was planning to resign,” Everman said. “(Sharpe) said ‘well I already got a letter I'm ready to go as well.’ Being the president, I said ‘I'll come by and pick up that letter and turn that in for you.’ (Sharpe) said ‘please do.’”  

Everman said Farley had a similar response.  

“You could call it a coincidence or whatever but it was not an orchestrated event,” Everman said.  

Members of the state board of education and State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister have called on Everman to resign for more than a year. The state board assumed authority over the Western Heights board last year after putting the district on probation.  

Related: State Board Of Education Takes Sweeping Action Against Western Heights Administration 

The state also suspended the license of then-Superintendent Mannix Barnes, who had worked alongside Everman in several capacities prior to Western Heights, for misuse of bond funding as well as significant losses in staff and students in recent years.  

Everman said he is still friends with Barnes and doesn’t believe there’s been any misuse of public funds during his tenure.  

“I think he did a very good job,” Everman said of Barnes.  

In June 2021, two months after the state placed Western Heights on probation, the board signed a three-year extension of Barnes’ contract. That same month, the state suspended Barnes’ license.  

Everman claimed the contract extension was approved in a “unanimous” vote during a public meeting, however meeting documents on the WHPS website shows the item was never on any agenda that month. Briana Flatley, who had just won a seat on the WHPS board, said she had no part in the contract extension.  

Everman denies any wrongdoing and said he’s always acted in the best interest of the students.  

“I have not done anything illegal, immoral unethical, and I don’t ever intend for my life to be that way,” he said.  

Related: News 9 Investigates: New, Secret Contract Puts Western Heights School District On Hook For Nearly $1 Million For Ousted Superintendent 

 Everman said his family received multiple threatening phone calls since he announced his resignation. He called the calls, “wrong.”  

“I'm a patron of the district. I care about the district. I love our district. I don't want to see it go bad or see anything bad happen, but nobody should threaten my family,” he said.  


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