A legal battle between a Race Matters, Friends activist and a Columbia Public Schools employee might not be over.
Two days after a Boone County judge threw out CPS Chief Equity Officer Carla London’s request for a restraining order against Race Matters, Friends activist Traci Wilson-Kleekamp, the school district produced Wednesday a written record showing that Amy Salladay, one of Wilson-Kleekamp’s attorneys, offered to postpone the hearing to set up a mediation between the two women.
Instead, Salladay’s law partner, Michela Skelton, asked the court Monday to dismiss the charges. And because neither London nor her lawyers were on hand to object, Judge Kimberly Jane Shaw complied.
“Ms. Wilson-Kleekamp’s attorney did not honor a written agreement between the parties,” CPS spokesperson Michelle Baumstark wrote Wednesday in an email. “That is to be taken very seriously as it not only shows bad faith,” Baumstark added, “but also could be considered a violation.”
Wilson-Kleekamp is calling for London’s resignation, claiming that the school district’s top-ranking African American has not been aggressive enough in acting on cases of racial injustice. London has filed for a restraining order against Wilson-Kleekamp, contending that the local activist has targeted London’s minor children through email.
“Mediation was proposed by opposing counsel and agreed upon in good faith by Ms. London,” Baumstark said in an email Monday after the charges were dismissed.
On Wednesday, Baumstark provided the Missourian with an email thread between Salladay and London’s attorney, Rachel Meystedt. In the exchange, the two discussed postponing the Monday hearing until Oct. 21 or 28 and taking the dispute to mediation.
Salladay, in an email to the Missourian, denied she had reached a deal with Meystedt. “I proposed mediation to Ms. London’s attorney at EdCounsel and they had not responded as to whether Ms. London would agree to mediate,” Salladay wrote.
Baumstark contended that the email exchange between Meystedt and Salladay amounted to a deal. “Ms. Wilson-Kleekamp’s attorney did not honor a written agreement between the parties,” Baumstark told the Missourian in an email.
In her email to the Missourian, Salladay acknowledged having a discussion about postponing the case with London’s representatives. She also said she had not had a chance to relay that information to Skelton, who covered for her in a Boone County courtroom Monday. But she noted that neither Meystedt nor her firm, EdCounsel, had formally registered as attorneys in the case at the time of the email exchange. “They waited until late Friday morning to contact me,” Salladay said.
EdCounsel also represents CPS.
London filed two protective orders for herself and three of her children on Sept. 23. London alleged that Wilson-Kleekamp was stalking and harassing London and her children on social media.
After the court dismissed London’s two filings, Meystedt filed a request Monday for a transcript and audio recording of the hearing.
“The court recording confirms a request for dismissal when it was agreed upon previously that a continuance would be requested in order to allow time for mediation,” Baumstark said.