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Durham schools superintendent reprimanded for private use of bus

Posted August 1, 2013

— The Durham Public Schools Board of Education on Thursday reprimanded Superintendent Eric Becoats for using a school bus and driver last month to take his friends and family to private events, including a trip to The Streets at Southpoint.

Becoats paid for the trip in full, but the board said his actions violate policy.

"School employees and, in particular, school leaders, must not use public resources for private benefit," the board said in a news release. "The board has issued a letter of reprimand to Dr. Becoats that explains the board's serious concern about this issue."

Becoats also released a statement Thursday, apologizing for his mistake. 

"After the use of the activity bus on the contracted dates, I was informed of the local and state policy. I apologize for my mistake," he said. "As superintendent, I will continue to build on the progress that we have made in the district. Additional work remains to be accomplished and I look forward to completing the task with our Board of Education, staff, families and community."

Hired in April 2010, Becoats is under contract until June 30, 2016 and is paid $195,700 annually. He also receives $600 a month for in-county travel expenses.

Becoats earned his bachelor’s degree in business and accounting from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. He earned a master’s degree in financial planning from Johns Hopkins University in Maryland and an educational leadership doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

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  • knowitall7 Aug 2, 3:17 p.m.

    Here's the sad truth. Nothing will happen to him. In fact, he'll probably go on to be a superintendent somewhere else and make even more money. He's never taught! He doesn't have a clue. Obviously, his ethics are out of line. He brought in so many incompetent, unethical people to DPS that he's surrounded by sycophants. The board won't do anything because they're too afraid to be called racist. Plus, Minnie F-B is a work-place bully. She brought him here. When will Durham get some brains in public instruction leadership?

  • DurhamDevil Aug 2, 1:09 p.m.

    Had this been anyone else within the school system, they would have been fired and not reprimanded.

    The claim he didn't know it was wrong only further demonstrates his inability to be an effective leader.

  • 678devilish Aug 2, 12:45 p.m.

    I don't believe this man can ever be trusted. What has he done that the county is not of aware of yet. They had better do some checking and asap.

  • Boogalooboy Aug 2, 12:35 p.m.

    Did this include him transporting his family and friends to the graduation ceremonies in Durham this past yr... hmmmm

  • 678devilish Aug 2, 12:33 p.m.

    They should take the expenses out of his next pay-check. Hit him where it will hurt. He knew better and did not think he would get caught. He should as those friend who told.

  • zile1porkey Aug 2, 12:27 p.m.

    I am tired of anyone doing what they want and because you say I am sorry all is well. He and the others aren't sorry society has us as a people doing this all the time all you have to do is ask for forgiveness and it's ok. Take responsibility for your actions.

  • 678devilish Aug 2, 12:16 p.m.

    He over-stepped his authority.

  • 678devilish Aug 2, 12:12 p.m.

    He knew this was wrong from the start. He should have to compensate the county for the use and any of expenses. Sock it to him. Out superintendent would never have done something so foolish. Maybe its time for that county to consider getting a new one.

  • heelzfan4 Aug 2, 12:09 p.m.

    He stated he made a "mistake." That is the biggest Lie I've heard this week! He knew better, and he's only sorry he got caught! At minimum, his salary should be reduced, and he should be penalized financially, suspended without pay, and a written reprimand filed in his personnel record. Such a joke.

  • knowitall7 Aug 2, 11:53 a.m.

    The BEST part of all this is that as an educational leader he just taught the kids a lesson. Step 1 -- say you didn't know it was against the rules (or policy). Step 2 -- apologize for your mistake. Step 3 -- say you have a lot of important work left to do at school. No suspensions for anyone!!!!
    Way to go, Beacoats.

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