Bibb BOE board member lists items to be investigated | News
Bibb County School Board member Jason Downey has created a list of items that he recommends the attorney general investigate.
This comes after a March 4 letter sent to Bibb Interim Superintendent Steve Smith, by Senior Assistant Attorney General David S. McLaughlin, asking for more details on why the system wants an investigation of the fiscal audit. That audit showed former superintendent Romain Dallemand committed the school system to more than $51 million in contracts without board approval.
The letter from Downey itemizes nine things, which ranges from further investigation into the Macon Promise Neighborhood project, to a review of all request for proposals issued during Dallemand's time as superintendent.
"These may or may not be related to the recent audit itself, but since we as a board agreed that we want all items of question investigated, to assure no illegal activities in our capacities as elected officials, I believe we must err on the side of caution as to the items we request the attorney general's office investigate," said Downey.
Below is the complete list:
- Investigation into the involvement of the Bibb County Board of Education's former Superintendent in entering into a contract with the Macon Promise Neighborhood without board approval, the selling of the Ballard-Hudson building, the repurchasing and leasing of the same building, plus the cost of repairs that he agreed to without prior board approval.
- A complete investigation of the Promise Neighborhood to assure no improprieties whatsoever, specifically all financial statements, bank statements, contracts, memorandum of understandings, and any other documents related to the business of the Macon Promise Neighborhood Project. This will insure complete transparency from all parties.
- Investigation of the Bibb County Board of Education's former Superintendent entering into a contract with Pinnacle Construction Support Group to purchase incompatible computer software at a very high price plus a future service contract with the same company for several hundred thousands of dollars per year without any RFP's being produced and no prior board approval.
- Investigation of the hiring practices of Bibb County Board of Education's former Superintendent, particularly as it related to any connections of family members currently employed by the Bibb County Board of Education, any Board approval, or lack thereof, etc.
- Investigation of long-term contracts being entered into without board approval, and whether these are legal/illegal in any way.
- Investigation of whether or not any purchases occurred under the former Superintendent's tenure that were a misappropriation of funds, or supplanting of funds inappropriately.
- Investigation of whether or not any companies entering in to long term contracts under the former Superintendent's tenure had a previous business relationship with him, and whether there was any monetary compensation for engaging in business with these companies.
- A complete review of all RFPs issued during the former Superintendent's tenure to confirm that the bidding processes were conducted fairly and openly, without any racial discrimination, and with complete transparency.
- Any violations of the Open Meetings Act by current or former Bibb County Board of Education membersand the concealment of reprimands sent to them by the Professional Standards Commission.
In the letter Downey continues to state:
"It is my strong belief that these items are matters that many members of our community request be investigated to assure that our Public Education system is doing all it can for the students of our schools. We will as a community respect the findings of the Attorney General's Office, and we have full faith and confidence that the fullest extent of the law will be imposed upon any illegal activity. We also acknowledge that there is a distinction between unethical and immoral activity, and illegal activity; that is to say that simply because our former Superintendent may have committed acts that were highly immoral and unethical, they may not give rise to a level of illegality."