Granville County superintendent resigns, will be paid $318,000
Posted June 11
Oxford, N.C. — Granville County Schools Superintendent Tim Farley has resigned and will receive a $300,000 severance payment, plus a one-time annual supplement of $18,000, the school board announced Wednesday night.
Farley's last official day will be June 30, but he has opted to take personal leave until then and will not be back in the office, school board members said. Assistant Superintendent Dorwin Howard has been named interim superintendent.
“The personnel actions taken tonight with respect to Dr. Farley and the appointment of Dr. Howard as acting superintendent have been taken in the best interests of the Granville County Schools and its teachers, staff, students, and parents," the school board said in a statement. "By taking these actions tonight, the board seeks to refocus the school system on its mission to provide the best possible education for the children of Granville County.”
Farley's resignation stems from an audit released in May citing problems with how the school system handled contracts for top administrators, including Farley and Associate Superintendent Allan Jordan.
The audit found that the full school board "did not always take formal action" to approve, amend or extend the contracts and some board members were "surprised to learn the details" of the contracts, including what top administrators were being paid.
About 100 community members attended Wednesday's school board meeting, which was held at Northern Granville Middle School to accommodate the large crowd. Many in the audience clapped, shouted and gave a standing ovation after Farley's resignation was announced.
Bruce Parrish, whose children attend Granville County Schools, was one who applauded the decision. Shortly before Wednesday's meeting, he stood outside the school holding a sign that questioned Farley's salary.
"I want those responsible, they need to excuse themselves," Parrish said, calling Farley's salary "outrageous."
Not everyone agreed with the decision. Pastor Ronnie Morton brought about a dozen children from his church to hold signs in support of the district administration. He said people are not taking into account the good work Farley has done.
"Our kids' grades are going up," he said. "We need to stay the course."
In an interview at his home last week, Farley said he did nothing wrong and had no plans to resign.
"The audit, it's a horrible document. It's factually incorrect," he said. "I'm frustrated because I didn't do anything wrong. I'm not guilty of anything, so I'm going to stay and fight."
Board members questioned Farley's salary after WRAL.com posted a story last August about the salaries and contracts of the state's 115 public school superintendents.
As of July 2013, Farley made nearly $193,000 a year, making him the second highest paid superintendent in the state with fewer than 25,000 students, according to the audit. Granville County Schools has about 8,600 students.