Friday, March 04, 2005

Maureen Jagmin Resigns


The Sun-Times has the resignation story here.

Maureen's husband, Gary Jagmin, made a very scary defense of his wife:

"It was an overheard conversation between possibly a man and wife," a visibly shaken Gary Jagmin said haltingly. He read a statement in a small board room packed with parents, reporters and school officials. "Should she be judged on what she says in the privacy of her own home, speaking to her husband, in a private conversation?"

He told the board he couldn't tell the context of the conversation from the transcript printed in Tuesday's Sun-Times. He also suggested the caller may have been expressing someone else's opinion, and questioned how the recording ended up on the Sun-Times voice mail.

He asked the board to delay accepting his wife's resignation until she and her lawyer reviewed the recording. But the board already had accepted the resignation.

Gary Jagmin said his wife was a dedicated board member. "Her actions speak louder than her private conversations," he said.

Someone (maybe H. Jackson Brown, Jr.) once said, "Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking." The conversation caught on the Sun-Times voicemail was a candid look at Maureen Jagmin's character and beliefs, and thus just as important -- if not more so -- as her public actions.

But her public actions do show character. For instance, she continues to deny that she is the voice in the recording. Since all the other facts in the matter point to her as the culprit -- the caller ID, the matching names in the recording, her resignation, and the fact that her own husband basically admitted to it by defending her privacy to say such things -- all indications are that her denial is merely an attempt to save face. The right thing to do would be to own up to the responsibility and publicly apologize to the schools she slandered, as the Lincoln-Way school board has already done.

Should she be fired or charged for what she said? No, and she wasn't. Freedom of speech extends to statements such as these, and as a (presumably elected) public official, she can't be forcibly removed from office for making such statements. But though perfectly legal, what she said was morally reprehensible, her actions after the fact have been shortsightedly self-serving, and her husband's defense is ethically bankrupt.

1 comment:

dutch said...

Hopefully this will die down now, Jesse can relax, and the real matter at hand can come to light as far as the schools and their motives are concerned.

I think it is entirely possible (though I give no opinion on the level of plausibility) that the woman was quoting someone else. If that is the case, it is unfortunate that the woman resigned. If it is not and they were her words, she should be gone if the tape can be authenticated.

Don't judge LW based on this, it is a great school district that tries very hard to give its students the best advantages and opportunities available.