Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

Local News

May 14, 2014

Are Carter County schools under investigation?

May 14, 2014 — Is a state agency investigating allegations of wrongdoing in the Carter County school system?

A different state agency says “yes” but Carter School Supt. Ronnie Dotson says “no”.

The agency supposedly handling the investigation is not saying anything.

In response to queries from the Journal-Times, the state auditor’s office said Tuesday that complaints had been referred to the Office of Education Accountability (OEA), an agency of the General Assembly.

The primary question is whether or not state law is being violated by the wife of Supt. Dotson supervising certified or classified personnel.

“We received several complaints about the Carter County school system within the last few months,” said Stephanie Hoelscher, communication director for State Auditor Adam Edelen. “Since the OEA was already conducting an investigation into similar allegations, we thought they would be the best organization to complete it.”

Hoelscher did not identify the nature of the complaints

The OEA will neither confirm nor deny the existence of an ongoing investigation, according to Karen Timmel-Hatzell, head of the investigations branch.

Dotson said Tuesday that he had been assured there is no investigation.

“I was told today (Tuesday) that no investigation is underway in this district,” Dotson said. “They came in to do an investigation two years ago and they said everything was perfectly fine.”

Dotson provided the Journal-Times with a memorandum from OEA dated October 2012 stating that no evidence of violation of law or policy was found in the investigation at that time.

However, examination of publicly available documents appears to support some allegations.

According to KRS 160.380 (2e), a superintendent's spouse who has at least eight (8) years of service in school systems may be an employee of the school district.

A superintendent's spouse who is employed under this provision cannot hold a position in which the spouse supervises certified or classified employees.

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