Sumter County Grand Jury recommends removing Board of Education


Sumter County Grand Jury recommends removing Board of Education

The Americus Times-Recorder writes that a county Grand Jury has recommended removing the members of the county Board of Education.

the Grand Jury’s investigative committee determined the evidence  points to the abuse of power of the Board and in all made 29 recommendations and stated that in the short-term solutions can be derived from removing power and influence from the Board and be subject to monitoring by an independent,  outside authority.

The report says that the Grand Jury “finds it difficult to entrust the multi-million dollar budget of the system to individual board members who find managing their $2,000 expense accounts too complicated to fully understand and comply,” and recommends that board members “pay overages due within 30 days or face possible criminal charges, establish[] a procedure for monitoring expenditures and collecting balances and adopt[] the state travel expense reimbursement policy for school board travel expenses.”

In reviewing expense reports the Grand Jury determined there is “a lack of accountability for using public funds, concerning travel expenses and mileage.” The reports states that when some Board members provided testimony at the Grand Jury hearings, the investigative committee as a whole found their justifications as to the definition of travel expenses “unbelievable,” as there was a vast discrepancy in interpretation.

“Some members did comply while others blatantly stated that they would not reimburse the system, because they do not feel that they owe the system any money and ‘previous boards do not dictate the current board’ ” the report states.

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