Education

Granville school leaders' contracts under scrutiny; meeting planned

Posted May 14

Granville County school bus

— The Granville County Board of Education plans to meet in closed session Friday evening to discuss personnel issues. The meeting comes a week after the board received an audit that scrutinized senior administration officials' contracts and compensation.

School officials have declined to say what the audit found and what exactly will be discussed at Friday's meeting.

"You can expect further disclosure in due course," said interim school board attorney Nick Sojka. "The board has a strong commitment to proceeding openly and in a transparent fashion."

Sojka declined to provide WRAL News with a copy of the audit Wednesday, saying he needs to meet with the board first.

Superintendent plaque North Carolina superintendents' contracts

School board members requested the audit earlier this year. On Feb. 19, the board hired Jill Wilson, an attorney with Brooks Pierce in Greensboro, to review "the forensic and accounting evidence regarding the payment of compensation," according to the board's meeting minutes.

Wilson says she mostly relied on public records and a few closed session minutes to help with her investigation, but she declined to provide details about what she found.

"I reviewed policy, practices and documents related to senior administration contracts," she said.

Superintendent Tim Farley, Associate Superintendent Allan Jordan and school board attorney Jim Cross said they have not seen the audit and are not sure what will be discussed at Friday's meeting.

"I'm not privy to the audit results," Farley said. "There's a lot that I don’t know because it's handled by the board."

"Of course, I'm curious. But I'm not concerned right now," he added. "I happen to think I’m doing a pretty doggone good job ... My board has always treated me fairly, so I don’t anticipate them doing anything different this time."

Jordan did not return a call from WRAL News. Instead, his attorney, Ellis Boyle, called on his behalf.

"I don’t believe that my client is aware about the information contained in (the audit)," Boyle said. "I don’t think he thinks there was anything inappropriate (in the contracts), at least by him. I don’t think he's concerned that it would reflect negatively on him."

Cross, who recently announced that he plans to retire as the school board's attorney on July 31, said he knows "very little" about the audit and upcoming meeting.

"I would be interested in reading (the audit). I haven't asked formally," he said. "I've really tried to stay away from the fray."

Cross declined to provide many details. Instead, he referred questions to the school board's new interim attorney.

"You really need to talk to Nick, because I'm not the one to talk about it," he said.

School board leaders were also reluctant to provide many details. Chairwoman Brenda Dickerson-Daniel says the board plans "to address personnel" at the meeting Friday, but she declined to elaborate.

"At this point, I have no further comment," she said.

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