Thursday, December 10, 2009

Update on Jason Lyn Gasque--Our Tax Dollars at Work

It's been 11 months since Jason Lyn (Frog) Gasque was arrested on charges of the sexual abuse of one of his students. Gasque has still not come to trial, and the citizens of Lawrence County continue to pay the coach's salary.

We first reported on the charges against Gasque in our January 13, 2009, column. At that time, we incorrectly stated Gasque had worked in the Florence City system for two years. According to Florence Superintendent Kendy Behrens, Gasque worked only one year for Florence where he enjoyed a perfect record and was eligible for rehire. Unfortunately, he didn't enjoy the same reputation in other systems.

In early May, Gasque was formally indicted in Lawrence County on charges of inappropriate contact with the 16 year-old Speake student. On May 20th, the Lawrence County Board of Education met in its regular session, during which board members discussed the pending litigation and unanimously voted to terminate Gasque. Superintendent Heath Grimes stated the official termination did nothing to stop Gasque from drawing his regular salary until all legal charges are officially settled.

The 32 year-old Gasque is married to the former Susan Robledo, 35, a Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner, who works at a Courtland rural health clinic in Lawrence County. Friends of Susan Gasque report that she has worked independently to obtain information favorable to her husband and plans to testify at his trial. Jason Lyn Gasque has told family and friends that he has no plans to re-enter the teaching profession after his trial, a trial that he and his wife have no doubts will exonerate him.

If the charges against Gasque have been concocted, we hope those responsible will be punished to the fullest extent. If they are true, we wish the same for Jason Lyn Gasque to whom the citizens of Lawrence County entrusted their children.

What's up with this: Good Samaritan Hospice of Madison (at one time ostensibly closed) is suing former owner Randy Gist for fraud. This is a civil suit and can be dismissed as frivolous by the judge; we have not seen a copy of the suit in question, but the word frivolous hardly seems to cover it.