DK schools replacing Pat Pope as SPLOST construction manager
Patricia Pope, DeKalb County schools’ embattled chief operations officer, is officially out as the district’s construction manager, at least temporarily.
Officials have insisted Pope is still the system’s COO even as District Attorney Gwen Keyes-Fleming has ramped up a criminal investigation of school construction programs. Search warrants were served Oct. 14 at Pope’s office and at the home and business of her husband, architect Vincent Pope, who has designed a number of DeKalb school projects.
Pope may still be COO, but a new interim operations officer for construction, Barbara Colman, is named in a proposal to be presented tonight to the DeKalb Board of Education. Colman’s employer, Parsons Commercial Technology Group, won a contract along with Jacobs Project Management Co. in June to provide “supplemental” management of construction and renovation projects.
School officials have declined to respond to reports on the DeKalb School Watch blog that Superintendent Crawford Lewis had relieved Pope of her duties.
Those reports said Pope was told of the move Oct. 22. That same day, records show, a letter was written giving Parsons a supervisory role over Jacobs in the construction management job.
Colman will report to deputy superintendent Ramona Tyson. Colman’s relationship with Pope’s construction management team is uncertain.
The cost will be substantial, however. The school board will be asked tonight to pay a team of 26 Jacobs and Parsons workers $644,150 to oversee projects through Dec. 11. Projected at that rate, the work would cost DeKalb schools more than $5.5 million over 52 weeks.
The top monthly compensation rates under the contract are $24,000 for Colman’s services; $25,115 for program executive W. Bruce Carminati; $27,951 for design manager Carlton Parker; $24,000 for senior project manager George Lentz; and $22,000 for construction manager Chuck Herman.
Pope earns an annual salary of $198,760 under an employment contract that runs through June 2010.