Different media outlets have already reported that legal representation for iStation has sent out at least three Cease & Desist letters to individuals who have questioned the process by which iStation has procured a contract through NCDPI.
Those individuals have in their calling as public school advocates and as tax payers sought information and have exposed the reasonable doubts surrounding Mark Johnson’s unilateral decision to award iStation a contract.
All three Cease & Desist letters have been published in WRAL. Here is the text of one of those letters all of which included the same language and claims.
This letter is to advise that Shanahan Law Group, PLLC represents Imagination Station, lnc. (“Istation”). As you are no doubt aware, Islation has been awarded the contract arising from the North Carolina Department of Public Read to Achieve RFP (“Contract”). Please direct all communication regarding this matter to me here at if you are represented by legal counsel, please direct this correspondence accordingly.
We have become aware that you have been making demonstrably false, misleading, and defamatory public statements about lstation. its agents, its products, and the process by which lstation was awarded the Contract by NCDPI. You were not involved in any part of the process by which this Contract was awarded, and NCDPI is just now beginning to release documents pertinent to the process. NCDPI has indicated that further documents will be released. Thus, your public statements are based on nothing more than unverifiable speculation and unsubstantiated statements by a former employee was not involved with the entire RFP process. Nevertheless, you have represented speculative, false, misleading, and defamatory information with respect to our client as fact in public media and other forums. Among other things, your conduct amounts to defamation and tortious interference with the Contract that [station was legally and appropriately awarded by Accordingly, we hereby DEMAND that you immediately cease making false and misleading representations about Istation, its products, or the process by Which this Contract came into existence, whether in public or private, and retract your false statements,
As my client considers its legal options with respect to your conduct. please be advised that we believe that you are or may be in possession of documents, tangible items, and electronically stored information that will become an important and irreplaceable source of discovery and evidence. By this letter, you are hereby given notice not to destroy, conceal. or otherwise alter any papers, audio or video recordings, digital or electronic files, or data generated or stored on a computer or other storage media (6. g. hard disks or drives, floppy disks, CDs, DVDs, backup tapes, flash drives, PDAs, smart phones, tablet devices, laptops or netbooks, PCs, servers, or backup media) from January 1, 2018 to the present that in any way relate to Istation, its products, or the process by which this Contract came into existence. Please note that this notice includes e-mails, chat logs, instant messages, text messages, voice mails, and social media posts, messages or writings of every kind. Failure to comply with this notice may result in severe sanctions being imposed by a court for spoliation of actual or potential evidence.
Accordingly, you must make every reasonable effort to preserve all documents and information related in any way to the categories of items listed above. These efforts include, but are not limited to, an obligation to discontinue all relevant data destruction, backup tape recycling, and auto-deletion or auto-preservation policies. This obligation also includes, but is not limited to, preservation of all documents, tangible items, and electronically
If you have any questions regarding this correspondence, please do not hesitate to contact me, or have your attorney contact me. Nothing in this correspondence is intended to prejudice any and all rights and remedies available to Istation under applicable law. All such rights and remedies are specically reserved.
SHANAHAN AW GROUP, PLLC
First, there is absolutely no evidence that what any of these three people have said has been “demonstrably false, misleading, or defamatory.” If what they have said or what they have posted is taken that way by the company in question, then it is the result of exposing light on a rather shady situation. Just because what these three people and others have truthfully stated about iStation and how it came to have a contract with DPI makes iStation uncomfortable in no way means that it is “demonstrably false, misleading, and defamatory.”
And besides, there was absolutely no specific item that was brought about in the letter as proof that they made “demonstrably false, misleading, and defamatory” statements.
It’s just an appeal to false authority.
The letter then says, “You were not involved in any part of the process by which this Contract was awarded, and NCDPI is just now beginning to release documents pertinent to the process. NCDPI has indicated that further documents will be released.”
Well, that’s exactly why each of these three advocates have been asking questions and pushing for transparency. NCDPI only started releasing documents because of public records requests. And the fact that NCDPI is going to release more means that the truth of the matter still has not been fully exposed. Remember NCDPI stands for “North Carolina Department of PUBLIC Instruction.” The fact that NCDPI and iStation are not as transparent in this matter as they need to be actually makes them look more like the parties that are “misleading.”
Them there is this: “Your public statements are based on nothing more than unverifiable speculation and unsubstantiated statements by a former employee who was not involved with the entire RFP process.”
Actually, what these three have been exposing truthfully is that the public does not know what the actual RFP process was in the three different iterations of it.
“DEMAND”? That’s funny. A lawyer is demanding that these three advocates stop making statements about iStation? Exactly what statements was he referring to? Sounds like the burden of truth is on iStation and NCDPI to prove what they said with what information was available is false.
“Retract your false statements”? Which ones are false?
The whole “Preservation Notice” section sounds like a bunch of “legalese.” But it is funny that these three people who have been very open, public, and straightforward are asked to not destroy anything.
Maybe that “preservation notice” should apply to NCDPI as well and specifically Mark Johnson?
The problem is that what these three advocates were doing was exposing truth, part of which is that not all of what has happened in this iStation contract has been released or shown.
iStation does not own the truth. Nor does NCDPI. The truth owns itself. It’s how that truth is presented or not by iStation and NCDPI that is the question. In this case, it is the withholding of information that really is the problem and iStation and NCDPI own that. What these C&D letters really do is show that NCDPI and iStation are not willing to own the truth and present the facts. If that was not the case, then there would be no question.
Until iStation and NCDPI can prove that what these three have said openly is false and misleading, then there remains much reasonable doubt to how iStation procured a contract with NCDPI.
Makes one want to send a Cease & Desist letter to iStation to stop them from sending nebulous, bullying, and logically fallacious C&D letters to people who are working for public education.