WRAL Investigates

Granville school leaders tighten spending guidelines

Posted November 6, 2014

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— A day after a WRAL Investigates story unveiled questionable spending by a former Granville County Schools superintendent and other employees, school leaders on Thursday approved new procedures to tighten checks and balances for district spending during their regular school board meeting.

They also released an audit that detailed some of the questionable purchases, reimbursements and other financial problems within the school system.

Part of the audit focused on former Superintendent Tim Farley.

Records WRAL Investigates reviewed show he bought more than $6,000 worth of high-tech devices in a three-year period, including a Microsoft Surface Pro tablet, Galaxy Note smart phone and smart watch, iPad, iPad Mini, multiple pairs of earbuds and headphones, including $169 JayBird BlueBuds and $106 Jabra Sport headphones, as well as numerous accessories for phones and tablets.

On trips, Farley often upgraded rental vehicles to convertible sports cars. Farley said the purchases were for the school district – and weren’t questioned by staff.

“In many instances, this was for the greater good, not just for my purpose,” he said during a recent interview.

School board members on Thursday approved guidelines outlining travel expenses covered by the district and the usage of district credit cards.

Limitations include:

  • Car rentals will only be reimbursed for the lowest car model
  • Staff members are encouraged to share rooms
  • Excessive tips will not be reimbursed
  • Valet parking is not reimbursable

Purchases will also require two approvals.

“I don’t think any of us are opposed to implementing these procedures,” board Chairwoman Brenda Dickerson-Daniel said.

Some residents believe Farley knew better regarding his spending habits.

“I continue to be amazed that the former superintendent claims to have done nothing wrong ... because nobody told him to stop?” said Oxford resident Jan Lee during the meeting. “Are you kidding me? This is a well-educated man with a doctorate.”

Oxford resident Rob Rivers questioned the timing of the audit.

"Yes, I'm concerned about the abuse of the credit cards, but let's look at the bigger picture," he said. "Mistakes were made across the board. Why go after a superintendent who's been gone for five months?"


This story is closed for comments.

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  • SaveEnergyMan Nov 7, 2014

    View quoted thread

    The state has two rates - one in state and one a little higher for out of state. They should be using these rates.

    You are thinking about federal per diem, which does account for specific locations. Go to www.gsa.gov to see the fed rates for a specific location, sometimes even broken down by county and city. In both cases, the hotel numbers can be overridden, if there is a reason - like a conference is at the hotel or some other extenuating circumstance.

    Meals and incidentals are all paid at the flat rate - no receipts required. Car rental is reasonable and prudent. He could have gotten the sport car, but would have had to pay the difference personally.

    Mr. Farley is an insult to every state employee who tries to be a good steward of the people's money.

  • disgusted2010 Nov 7, 2014

    The horse has escaped, now quickly lock the barn door.

  • lessismore Nov 7, 2014

    Seems democrats can't control spending (of other people's money)...that has always been their problem, and always will. All the authority and no responsibility.

  • Rodney Green Nov 7, 2014
    user avatar

    I think asking people to share a room is going a bit too far.

  • raphael27520 Nov 7, 2014

    Oh now, The Government always does the best thing with Taxpayer money.

    There is never "One Smidgen" of corruption. especially not in NC.

  • coachjim44 Nov 7, 2014

    Maybe just a little late.

  • VickLo Nov 7, 2014

    I just cannot believe anything of this sort happens in Oxford/Granville County what with the Good Ole Boy network monitoring things.

  • housemanagercary Nov 7, 2014

    They should all be ashamed of themselves. Every one involved who knowingly stole funds should be fired. Period.

  • Singlemalt Nov 7, 2014

    His excuses are laughable, especially the explanation on the convertibles. You need two hands for this level of FAIL.

  • btneast Nov 7, 2014

    Per diem is a good way to go, but it needs to be variable based on the location traveled to. Per diem in New York or comparable city would be vastly different than per diem in Des Moines.