MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Bibb County Commissioner Joe Allen is calling for a federal investigation into the Bibb County School Board.
During a news conference held Tuesday morning, Allen says he is making the request through the Middle Georgia Federal Court District. He's asking U.S. Attorney Michael Moore to convene a special Grand Jury for the purpose of investigating school board members, both current and past members.
"The allegations that surround the school board must be addressed by an outside authority with subpoena power," Allen said. "These allegations must be investigated immediately by a federal authority, as the facts show a possible misuse of federal funds, not to mention state and local money as well."
Allen is not requesting the investigation on behalf of the Bibb County Board of Commissioners. Instead, he feels its his civic duty to step in and demand answers.
"As an elected official of Bibb County, I feel that there are issues within the Bibb school board that my constituency demands answers to," he said. "If no wrong doing has occurred, then the citizens of Bibb County deserve to be verified of that as well."
He listed four areas of concern he felt needs to be addressed:
1) The Grand Jury should look into any practice in which any member of past or present BOE personnel received any additional compensation for which he or she should not have received.
2) The investigation should examine any companies or firms doing any kind of business, both for profit and non-profit, with the BOE where funds might have been used directly or indirectly unlawfully benefit certain members of the BOE.
3) The prosecutor should carefully examine any employment practices of the BOE wherein undue hardship or punishment was placed on BOE employees in retaliation for exercising their normal duties as those duties pertain to overseeing the spending guidelines of federal money given to the school.
4) The investigation should cover if any bidding procedures have been violated by the Bibb County BOE as those procedures are set out by the Anti-Trust Division of the US Department of Justice.
Allen wouldn't comment on what he specifically wanted investigated. He refused to say if this investigation is linked to former Bibb BOE Chief Financial Officer Ron Collier's lawsuit against the school district, claiming he was fired after refusing to write a check.
"I think the people of Bibb County deserve the right to know if or not a crime has been committed," Allen said. "I think its time that we do something instead of sit back and not do anything."
Allen hand-delivered his request to Moore's office Tuesday morning. Moore was not available for comment.
The school district is currently working on a response to Allen's statement. It's now up to the federal court to decide if it will look into Allen's request and ask for an investigation.