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Monday, November 2, 2015

WHAT WOULD PAT DO? Bay City Academy Superintendent To Go In Front Of 86th District Court Judge; Angling To Cop A Plea Deal And Delayed Sentence

“At Bay City Academy, we teach students to do the right thing, because it is the right thing to do.”
Bay City Academy's motto

If only that lesson extended to the faltering charter school's administrators! And although I've been describing Cleland as the Academy's “former” Superintendent, tipsters have alleged to Miss Fortune that Cleland may still be actively involved with the enfeebled charter school, having been seen regularly (and recently) in its halls.

Patrick Cleland is scheduled to appear tomorrow (November 3) in Grand Traverse County's 86th District Court, and is expected to plead guilty to stalking. Cleland has requested that his sentencing be delayed.

Arrested on May 25, 2015, Cleland was formally arraigned on September 22 for stalking and attempted possession of a controlled substance analogue.

Cleland last appeared in court on October 6, with his attorney, Patrick E. Heintz. Court records reveal a deal was struck, with Cleland pleading guilty to the stalking charge in return for the drug possession charge being dismissed. (Heintz is a partner in the law firm Bishop & Heintz, P. C. Heintz's law partner, Doug Bishop, was the longtime legal counsel for the Grand Traverse Academy Board of Directors. Heintz also represented Cleland back in 2013 when he negotiated another plea deal, keeping Cleland out of jail. Cleland plead guilty to one count of retail fraud-3rd degree and served three days of community service instead of a six day jail sentence.)

Leelanau County court records reveal an area woman sought and received a personal protection order against Cleland on May 26, and Cleland was served on June 8. 

(If Cleland taught at a public school here in Michigan, a citizen could submit a Freedom of Information Act request and obtain his personnel file. Under Michigan law, personnel files of public employees are writings in the possession of a public body, and are subject to the disclosure of the FOIA. But charter school teachers and administrators are employees of the management company, so their personnel files are outside of public documents and not subject to the FOIA.)

In Michigan’s District Court, a judge may formally delay a sentence for the purpose of giving the defendant an opportunity to prove to the court his or her eligibility for probation or other leniency compatible with the ends of justice and the rehabilitation of the defendant.

Sentences may be delayed for all crimes except murder, treason, armed robbery, major controlled substance offenses, and first- or third-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Sentence may be delayed for up to one year. After one year the court loses jurisdiction to sentence, except in the most limited and unusual of circumstances.

The judge may require the defendant to participate in in-patient alcohol or drug programs; regular reporting to a probation agent and may require that defendant pay restitution. 

There's the heartbreaking flip side to this tawdry tale: the impact it has on the lives of children attending the school.

While Mitten Management's Brian Lynch and the rest of his dismal bunch of overlords (and overladies!) fight over every last scrap of money and, like crabs in a barrel, climb over each other in an effort to cling to the top, the students are the ones who suffer.

Taught by dedicated and well-intentioned teachers, these kids are at a distinct disadvantage by the mere presence of a skunk like Cleland.

“At Bay City Academy, we teach students to do the right thing, because it is the right thing to do.”

The dude who wrote this so-called motto must really have a pair — and they must make a loud, clanging noise when he walks.


  1. Cleland must be holding something over their head to still be working for them. Superintendent to Dean of Students to Special Projects coordinator. Creating positions!

    1. So are you saying that Cleland has been variously called the "Superintendent", the "Dean of Students" or the "Special Projects Coordinator" just to keep him on the payroll?

    2. Those are the titles I've heard. That's how many times it's changed since the end of the last school year. What purpose is he serving? Why is he still employed with the school?

  2. Wait a minute are you telling me that Bay City Academy is hiring individuals that don't belong near children, well that is just darn scary. How many individuals do they have working there that are like that? I am truly glad my child is no longer in that school. I can't imagine what is really going on. Excellent reporting, thank you for letting us know what is really going on.

  3. Cleland is given these bogus titles because he doesn't hold a state of MI Administrator Certificate and is therefore not qualified to serve as a school administrator. It's the same way that Lynch held that position. These are good old boys finding the loop holes to help each other out.
    As for the FIOA requests, do some more research on that...a MI Judge ruled that personnel files of charter school teachers are INDEED public record, regardless of their private employer. This is also why they must also go through the fingerprinting/background check process, the same as a public school teacher.

  4. And here lies another problem with Charter Schools. I wonder just what kind of individuals are working for these school? I wonder if they hide fingerprint reports. We need to tighten up the rules for these schools, this nonsense has to stop. Next thing you know, they will be hiring a paedophile or someone who has been convicted of some other felony. Good ole boys running our schools and cities into the ground, covering up what they know to keep the scams going. Scary stuff!

  5. None of the administration has leadership degrees, or even continuing credits in administration. One administrator is highly educated, but as a guidance counselor. The other has risen the ranks due to close personal ties with Steve, and that was the case with Comer as well. This is a huge reason why the day-to-day operations of BCA are set to fail: people who are not qualified to be leaders continue to lead. Even worse, they refuse to accept constructive criticism from current and former teachers/administration/families, yet continue to ask for help and wonder why enrollment is dropping. It is the same story with Pat and Brian. We are past the point of assuming that these are well meaning people who just don't know better; the higher ups are being willfully obtuse and blames the teacher and support staff when things go wrong and allow parents to walk all over them. It's a toxic environment. For the teachers' sake, I hope the ship sinks soon.

  6. This sounds like a terrible situation for children. What happens when there is inappropriate behaviors and disturbing environment in a home, the children are taken out of the home. And a highly educated counselor, you mean someone that placates the children and doesn't really help students grow and become responsible for their actions. A counselor should counsel and an administrator should be assisting and helping the child to follow steps in changing a behavior in a positive school environment. Sounds like these people have it all backwards??? Leaders with no training, questionable backgrounds of individuals, leaders cuddling up to Ingersoll, daughters working there, lying to parents, blaming teachers. You know something, this sounds like a terrible place for children. What are you teaching them to be criminals? Choice theory?? Yes today children you will learn two things....you can be poor OR be bad like us and learn how to make money off the government, lie, cheat and steal. Choice Theory my behind, William Glasser M.D. must be rolling over in his grave. Come on STATE OF MICHIGAN, rescue these children and get these teachers and staff out of the terrible situation they are caught in. They aren't the bad guys, they are trying to make a living, but they are working under horrible leadership and that definitely affects children and the learning environment!