Granville school board calls Friday night meeting

May. 13, 2014 @ 07:52 PM

OXFORD — An audit of how compensation of senior school district administrators is determined has been turned in and reviewed by the Granville County Board of Education.

Board members are saying little about the report, but one did confirm changes are coming. A special called meeting of the board has been announced for Friday night at 6. The stated purpose is to meet in closed session to discuss personnel issues and consult with the interim board attorney.

Brenda Dickerson-Daniel, chairwoman of the board, said she was uncertain if some discussion or action might take place in open session.

During the board’s regular meeting on May 5, a closed session was held to consider personnel and contract issues and attorney-client privileged information.

A special called meeting was held last Thursday, primarily to hire an attorney, according to Dickerson-Daniel.

The report on administrators’ compensation was made by Jill Wilson, an attorney with the law firm of Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey and Leonard.

“She reported to us,” Daniel said. “We reviewed it and discussed it at length.”

In response to The Dispatch’s request for a copy of the report, Daniel said, “She told us it was created for the board members’ eyes only. I’m not sure when it will be ready to be made public.”

Granville County Superintendent Tim Farley said he has not seen the report.

Board member Toney Smith said he had no comment on Wilson’s report. “Something will be coming out in the near future,” he said. “There will be some changes.”

He declined to discuss the nature of possible changes.

The law firm was hired to conduct an audit of compensation practices of senior administrators after a Feb. 19 special meeting that Daniel said she called to respond to concerns board members had about compensation practices. A copy of Daniel’s written comments stated the motion was made to hire the law firm “to conduct a full investigation, including particularly a review of the forensic and accounting evidence regarding the payment of compensation, and to report to the board regarding their findings.”

The motion was approved on a 5-1 vote, with board member Leonard Peace against.

Board member Patrick Cox was absent, but he created a controversy at the board’s regular meeting on March 10 when he said that Daniel’s election as chairwoman was the result of an illegal meeting. He moved to have the board apologize to Peace, the former chairman, explain why the audit was needed and conduct it in open sessions.

The motion was defeated, 5-2, with only Cox and Peace in support.

The extent of the discord on the board was made public when the March 17 edition of the Oxford Public Record published a letter from board members Smith, Donnie Boyd and Catherine “Rose” Lyon in which they responded to Cox’s charges.

In the May 6 primary election, Daniel and Lyon were defeated in their efforts to be re-elected, although it is not clear whether the controversy affected the outcomes. They will remain on the board until December.

Contact the writer at dirvine@hendersondispatch.com.