A stalking protection order has been filed against Wellington Schools and Lorain County JVS board of education member Ayers Ratliff, stemming from an incident where he allegedly said a fellow JVS board member should be shot.
According to Lorain County Court of Common Pleas documents, Ratliff had visited the Lorain County auditor’s office in Elyria when he said Annie Carstarphen, a JVS board appointee from Elyria, should be shot but that “he wasn’t going to do it.”
Carstarphen also works at the auditor’s office. Her statement in the protection order reads: “Ayers suggested in my place of work that ‘I should be shot but he’s not going to do it.’ I am fearful of this man. He has harassed many other board members… he actually suggested I should be shot.”
Ratliff denies the allegations and said he had only stopped at the auditor’s office to pick up documents pertaining to his public campaign against the JVS’s 0.75-mill permanent improvement levy that appears as Issue 8 on Lorain County ballots.
”I have not in any way, shape, or form been engaging in behavior that could be called stalking,” he said. “I’ve always been nice to (Carstarphen) and always spoken to her congenially. I’ve never said anything out of the way to her. Never. Stalking is a pattern of behavior that involves following, harassment, phone calls, and emails. I haven’t done anything like that.”
A hearing on the matter before magistrate Linda Butler has been scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 29.
Butler also approved the protection order, which stipulates that Ratliff must stay 500 feet away from Carstarphen but also that Ratliff can attend JVS board meetings where Carstarphen is present.
The relationship between Ratliff, the JVS board, and school superintendent Glenn Faircloth has become increasingly contentious over the past year.
Ratliff was censured by the JVS board in April and accused of disrespecting officials, sharing confidential information, attacking Faircloth’s credentials, “invoking derogatory racial stereotypes” when speaking with Faircloth (who is black), making remarks that could be perceived as sexual harassment in the presence of female staff members, and trying get involved in individual employee matters and in a pending legal proceeding involving the district.
In July 2017, Ratliff was the only board member to vote against a new contract for Faircloth, pointing to language in the agreement that makes Faircloth eligible for a raise “in an amount equal to that granted to other administrative staff as a general increase.”
Ratliff said it creates motivation for Faircloth to push raises for fellow administrators that would, in turn, increase his own pay.
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.