Bibb BOE member reveals items he wants Attorney General to investigate

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — In response to a school system audit that revealed former superintendent Romain Dallemand spent millions without board approval, Bibb County School Board member Jason Downey has a list of items he wants investigated.

In a letter addressed to interim superintendent, Dr. Steve Smith, Downey lists nine different areas he’d like the attorney general to look into.

“I don’t think anyone’s on a witch hunt except to get to the bottom of what happened to our children’s money,” said Downey.

Downey’s not just asking about money. The first two items on his list ask the attorney general to investigate the Macon Promise Neighborhood and the contract Dallemand entered into without board approval.

“We’re saddled with a half a million dollar a year reminder of a Promise Neighborhood that is still not ready for us to move into or do anything with. That is the legacy that we’re left with from that superintendent’s tenure, and it’s very troubling, it’s very frustrating,” said Downey.

Downey listed the following items in his letter to the superintendent:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Investigation of long-term contracts being entered into without board approval, and whether these are legal/illegal in any way.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Any violations of the Open Meetings Act by current or former Bibb County Board of Education members and the concealment of reprimands sent to them by the Professional Standards Commission.

Downey said his list is based on concerns that his constituents and community stakeholders brought to him. He told 41NBC he’ll respect any findings from the attorney general investigation.

“It may not be illegal. It may be simply immoral and unethical, we don’t know but we’re not going to know until we investigate this, and I would certainly hope that if this investigation turns up any illegal activity if there’s more than one person involved, then they all have to pay the price,” said Downey.

He expects the board will likely discuss adding on to this list at Thursday night’s board meeting.

Categories: Bibb County, Education, Local News

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