DeKalb County schools paid $341,000 several years back for a salary audit that found they were overpaying employees by millions of dollars a year. Now, school officials can’t seem to locate those findings. So, what happened?
John Thompson, fired after just 11 months from his Clayton County post, ranked as the third-best-paid school superintendent in Georgia for 2009. Thompson pocketed about $367,000 in the fiscal year ending June 30. He lost his job in March, less than a year after he’d been hired to turn the school system around and lead it back to accreditation. Check out the rest of the state’s 10 highest-paid superintendents.
DeKalb school officials want to pay Parsons Corp. and another firm $14.6 million to manage construction through 2012. The school board Monday may pony up the 2010 installment — $6.1 million. Parsons took control of the program in October when chief operating officer Pat Pope was reassigned as an investigation of construction contracts heated up. But the outsourcing would have cost the same regardless of Pope’s status, a school spokesman said today: “Their dollar figure would not have changed.”
Parsons, the engineering and construction firm, will oversee DeKalb County schools’ $466 million construction program for the next six weeks. After that, who knows? Parsons and Jacobs Project Management Co. will be paid $644,150 for their trouble. The firms in June won a contract for “supplemental” management, but Superintendent Crawford Lewis gave Parsons “full responsibility” for the program in an Oct. 22 letter. The company takes the reins from chief operations officer Patricia Pope, whose office is under investigation by DeKalb prosecutors.
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 a criminal investigation of school construction programs has ramped up. Pope may still be COO, but a new interim construction boss, Barbara Colman, is named in a proposal to be presented tonight to the DeKalb Board of Education.
DeKalb School Superintendent Crawford Lewis today promised a thorough and transparent investigation to see how the system handled bullying complaints that led to the suicide of a Dunaire Elementary student. Although the system’s investigation is continuing, Lewis said the mother of Jaheem Herrera, 11, clearly had visited Dunaire to complain about bullies harassing her son. […]