O'Sullivan Under Fire for Vulgar Language

Former superintendent John O'Sullivan.
Former superintendent John O'Sullivan.

The final nail in the school board recall coffin could be hammered home tomorrow morning. Savannah-Chatham Board of Education president Hugh Golson is the lone remaining target. A superior court judge will decide if the recall will move on or end.

But a former superintendent is getting all the attention tonight. Today, a letter from a parent alleging vulgar and crude behavior at last week's recall hearing is raising eyebrows.

When former Savannah-Chatham school superintendent John O'Sullivan took the stand last week in the Hugh Golson recall hearing, some might say he didn't look happy.

"I knew he didn't want to be there," said recall effort leader Rev. Leonard Small. "That wasn't for my concern. That's what subpoenas are for."

What O'Sullivan said in court may have helped Golson, but fellow witness and recall sponsor Tina Kohout claims O'Sullivan's behavior before taking the stand was a different story.

In a letter to Superior Court judge John Harvey and the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, Kohout--a mother of two--accuses O'Sullivan of unprofessional behavior, including an array of vulgarities and what she calls inappropriate acts.

According to Kohout, while waiting with other witnesses she overheard O'Sullivan say, among other things, it was a bunch of [expletive] he had to be there, and he had four [expletive] job interviews to attend, but he was stuck there with this [expletive].

"How could we have someone this vulgar in charge of our children for three years?" asked Rev. Small.

Kohout's revelations may now position her as the final witness in the Hugh Golson recall hearing. Rev. Small says, even if Golson's recall fails, at the very least he thinks the hearing, including O'Sullivan's testimony, has exposed other board members.

"I know the testimony has pretty much nailed four board members if we were to do hearings on them," he said.

Attorneys for both sides will have a conference with Judge Harvey at 9am tomorrow morning. The judge will decide if Kohout's testimony is needed and then make a final ruling on the Golson recall.

Reported by: Don Logana, dlogana@wtoc.com