(WMC-TV) - The plot thickens in a Memphis and Shelby County School merger controversy.
Merger decision makers are reacting following accusations that a secret plot is in the works to oust the Memphis superintendent so the county superintendent can take the helm of the merged school system.
They say there is nothing secret about what is going on, and it all comes down to the results of a recent teacher survey.
A school merger battle came to light when the media was copied on an e-mail last week.
In the e-mail, School Board Commissioner Martavius Jones questioned the need for a special meeting to discuss Memphis Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash's contract.
Commissioner Stephanie Gatewood chimed in about "questionable communications," and then Jones went on the record about it over the weekend.
"I was approached as early as late January about, 'Why don't we just ease Cash out so we can easily name Aitken as superintendent,'" said Martavius Jones.
In response to allegations of the secret plot, other school merger decision makers contacted Action News 5's Kontji Anthony.
They say nothing is secret about the tide of support leaning towards Shelby County Superintendent John Aitken.
They did not wish to be interviewed, but said the "Teacher and Staff Perceptions of the School Systems Merger" survey tells the real story.
The 47-page document shows results of a survey completed by 2,200 city and county school employees.
Yacoubian Research was commissioned to conduct the survey by the Transition Planning Commission.
Mostly teachers and some staff and administrators graded the superintendents.
Most MCS employees gave Dr. Cash a C.
An almost equal number gave him an F.
Aitken received an equal number of B's as he did "Not Sure."
When it came to county school employees, most gave Dr. Cash an F and many gave him a D.
Most gave Aitken an A and many gave him a B.
The survey has been posted on the Transition Planning Commission's website since April.
The meeting to discuss Cash's contract is June 11th.