Bibb Commissioner Calls For Federal Probe
A Bibb County Commissioner calls for a federal investigation into the business practices of the Bibb County Board of Education.
At a Tuesday morning press conference, Bibb County Commissioner Joe Allen announced he is asking the U.S. Department of Justice for the Middle District of Georgia to convene a special grand jury for the purpose of investigating the Bibb County Board of Education.
Allen says he is asking the federal agency to look into possible unfair compensation of board members, business practices of agencies working with the board and the spending of federal grant money.
This comes just after two law suits were filed against the Bibb Board of Education.
In his lawsuit, former school district Chief Financial Officer Ron Collier alleges his boss, Superintendent Romain Dallemand, illegally took money to fund a project called "Macon Promise Neighborhood". The district is on the hook to pay nearly $20 million over ten years to revitalize parts of west Macon.
Then there's Thomas Bradley Defore's lawsuit against Bibb County Schools over Superintendent Dallemand's contract.
Though Allen won't confirm what information he has on the board, the allegations sound similar to the two previously filed lawsuits.
Here's a look at exactly what he had to say:
"I want to thank you for coming today.
I have called this news conference today to advise the people of Bibb County of the following: I will be requesting that the Federal Prosecutor for the Middle Georgia Federal Court District convene a special Grand Jury for the purpose of investigating the Bibb County School Board.
This investigation will encompass both the current Administration as well as past Board members.
The allegations that surround the School Board must be addressed by an outside authority with subpoena power. These allegations must be investigated immediately by a Federal authority, as the facts show a possible misuse of Federal funds, not to mention State and local money as well.
I, Joe Allen, as a Constitutional officer of the State of Georgia, a member of the Bibb County Board of Commissioners, and as Vice Chairman of the Bibb Board of Commissioners, request this action.
I am not requesting this investigation on behalf of the Bibb County Board of Commissioners, nor am I making this request on behalf of any other member of the Board of Commissioners. I am instead making this request as a Citizen of both Bibb County and the State of Georgia. As an Elected Official of Bibb County, I feel that there are issues within the Bibb School Board that my constituency demands answers to. If no wrong doing has occurred, then the citizens of Bibb
County deserve to be verified of that as well. Only an outside investigation will allow this community to have truth separated from fiction.
Here are some areas I feel that need to be addressed:
1. The Grand Jury should look into any practice in which any member of past or present BOE personnel received any additional compensation for which he or she should not have received.
2. The investigation should examine any companies or firms doing any kind of business, both for profit and non-profit, with the BOE where funds might have been used to directly or indirectly unlawfully benefit certain members of the BOE.
3. The prosecutor should carefully examine any employment practices of the BOE wherein undue hardship or punishment was placed on BOE employees in retaliation for exercising their normal duties as those duties pertain to overseeing the spending guidelines of Federal money given to the school board.
4. Finally, the investigation should cover if any bidding procedures have been violated by the Bibb County BOE as those procedures are set out by the Anti-Trust Division of the US Department of Justice.
In closing, the people of Bibb County demand answers to these allegations. As their representative, I am putting out the request for an immediate and thorough Federal investigation to get those answers they deserve."