By Mark E. Vogler
---- — NORTH ANDOVER — A Florida man has launched a website that puts bounties on school officials responsbile for the punishment of Erin Cox, the North Andover High School volleyball star who was suspended after she says she drove to an alcohol-fueled party in Boxford to pick up an intoxicated friend.
Mark Dougan's website offers cash rewards ranging from $250 to $2,000 for damaging information about School Superintendent Kevin Hutchinson, North Andover High School Principal Carla Scuzzarella and others.
“For the right information, I am willing to pay $15,000 to $20,000,” Dougan, 40, of West Palm Beach, Fla., said in a telephone interview last night. “I could go higher if it’s really good information."
Dougan said he created the website NAShame.com after learning about the controversy surrounding Cox, 17, a senior who was punished after showing up at a teen drinking party in Boxford on Sept. 28. She said she went to the party to pick up a friend who was intoxicated and called for a ride.
Cox lost her captain position on the volleyball team and was suspended for five games even though a Boxford police officer wrote to the school saying that she “did not have the slightest odor of an alcoholic beverage” on her.
The story made national headlines and Cox was hailed as a hero who was unfairly punished.
“I never liked a bully,” Dougan wrote on his website titled.
“In this case, the bullies are Kevin Hutchinson, Carla Scuzzarella and others that felt the suspension of Erin Cox for keeping the world a safer place was a good idea,” he wrote.
“Kevin, Carla — I am here to call out and expose your hypocrisy. To the other teachers who will probably get dragged through the dirt because of their actions, tough. They are your leaders and as long as they are your leaders, this site, and these bounties, will remain in effect.”
Hutchinson could not be reached for comment last night. A message left on his cell phone went unanswered.
The website listed the following rewards/bounties:
-- $250 for documented information leading to the suspension, resignation or termination of a teacher or documented information about extra-marital affairs.
-- $500 for documented information leading to the suspension, resignation or termination of Kevin Hutchinson, Carla Scuzzarella, District Attorney Geoffrey Bok or high-ranking faculty member or documented information about any extra-marital affairs.
-- $500 for documented information leading to the incarceration of a teacher.
-- $1,000 for documented information leading to the incarceration of any high-ranking faculty member or members of the immediate families of Kevin Hutchinson, Carla Scuzzarella or District Attorney Geoffrey Bok.
-- $2,000 for documented information leading to the incarceration of Kevin Hutchinson, Carla Scuzzarella, District Attorney Geoffrey Bok.
To clarify, Bok is not the District Attorney for Essex County. He is the attorney representing the North Andover School District.
“What Erin Cox did by fetching an intoxicated driver was an act of selflessness and honor, for had she not done it, the intoxicated one may have risked driving. Not only could this lead to killing herself, but she could have killed your mother, your father or your children,” Dougan wrote on his website.
“In their decisions, Kevin Hutchinson and Carla Scuzzarella give the impression they, and all of the other faculty of the North Andover School Board, live extraordinary, perfect lives. I am here to shatter that illusion,” Dougan said.
In his interview last night, Dougan described himself as a tech company owner who has created websites “all around the country that deal with corruption in government.”
“I have done the bounty thing before and it wound up working out well. I paid $500 for a deposition where a sheriff got caught stealing a firearm out of the evidence room out of Palm Beach County. The sheriff of my county tried to buy one of my websites for $75,000 just so he could shut it down. And I refused to sell it,” he said.
Dougan said he’s seeking information from “100 percent anonymous” sources whose allegations can be documented.
“One person emailed me with a request to get back to him tomorrow. He says he has information on a school official,” Dougan said.
Dougan said he posted the bounties to reward people who wouldn’t otherwise come forward.
“The fact is money is money, and people like a reason to come forward,” he said.
“What I’m trying to show is how government officials do whatever they want and don’t hold themselves to the same standard as average citizens. I have no skin in the game. I have no reason to spite anybody. But what I want to show is the people who are holding our kids to these standards aren’t meeting them as well.”