FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — Recently released files from the Fayetteville School District show just how extensive a relationship was between fired superintendent Dr. Matthew Wendt and the administration’s receptionist.
Shae Lynn Newman filed a sexual harassment complaint against Wendt in March, which ultimately led to his firing on June 18.
In march — following Newman’s complaint — Wendt left her a four-minute long voicemail after what seemed to be a prior discussion between the two.
“I apologize for any words or actions today. Had we been married and had our own residence and if you would’ve grabbed something to throw it you would’ve thrown it because I would have come after you as well,” Wendt said.
This was the fourth time Wendt called Newman after that argument; she didn’t answer any of them.
More of that voicemail signals to a prior loving relationship
“I asked you yesterday if you were in love and you said yes. And if you lied to me just to say yes and get out of my office because of the forced pressure to be in the room ,okay. I guess, okay,” Wendt said.
Surveillance footage that was released shows a number of interactions between the two.
On the morning of January 19 you can see Wendt approach Newman, and she then places her hand on the back of Wendt’s shoulder while the two talk in a fairly friendly manner.
The two laugh over something and a few moments later you see Wendt hold his hand out, palm up. That’s when Newman places her hand, palm up, as well, and the two wrap their fingers together, holding hands.
Another interaction — caught on video — shows Wendt leaning his head down and then appears to rub the right side of his face against Newman’s chest.
You then see her reaction of laughter and surprise.
Whether the physical contact is welcomed remains unclear.
But what is clear is that Wendt engaged in what appears to be inappropriate behavior with a subordinate in the workplace.
Also a part of this investigation, we broke down extensive phone records from September 2017 to March 2018.
There were 936 cell phone calls made between the two.
That equals over 8,000 total minutes spent talking on the phone.
When you average that, it comes to nearly an hour of talking on the phone each and every day over a period of five months.
Text messages also tell a story.
From that same period over 12,000 text messages were sent.
We reached out to the attorneys of both Shae Lynn Newman and Dr. Matthew Wendt.
We have yet to hear back from either.