Credit Card-Gate–Investigation of School System
Truth Hits the Fan at Commissioner’s Meeting
Death Threats and All
Reported by Robert A. Williams
Shelby: The August 7, 2012 Board of the Cleveland County Board of Commissioners regularly scheduled Board Meeting at the Commissioners Chambers on Marion Street, from the prepared Agenda, appeared to be pretty ho-hum. That didn’t last long.
The Board meeting was called to order at 6:02 pm. Commissioners Johnny Hutchins, Ronnie Hawkins, Eddie Holbrook, Mary Accor and Jason Falls were all present and in their places. So were County Manager Eddie Bailes and County Attorney Bob Yelton. County Manager Eddie Bailes lead the Pledge of Allegiance and Mary Accor provided a Prayer. The Agenda was adopted. The next item on the Meeting Agenda was Citizens Recognition. Any citizen can sign up for Citizens Recognition and will be allowed three minutes to address the Cleveland County Board of Directors. Only one citizen had signed up, it was only five minutes into the Board meeting and all Hell broke loose.
Danny Blanton, former candidate for the Cleveland County Board of Education and the whistle blower who went public with the credit card scandal within the school system opened up with about 90 seconds of discussion about the scandal that, after two forced resignations of school system underlings in the Maintenance Department, seemed to cover-up the scandal good enough to save the school system big wheels. Danny Blanton told the Commissioners that the State Auditor and the SBI had decided to let local officials investigate the scandal and handle any prosecutions. Danny said that, while waving a bundle of information, “I am not accusing anybody. I have the records and they speak for themselves.” Commissioner Chairman, Johnny Hutchins, asked Danny Blanton to provide his information and records to the County Clerk, which he did. No Commissioner, the County Manager and the County Clerk made any comment and Danny Blanton sat down. The meeting proceeded.
The rest of the meeting included two public hearings regarding economic development grants that will go toward 18 or so additional jobs in existing county businesses.
A resolution brought about by the newest Commissioner, Jason Falls, was unenthusiastically passed (some Commissioners appeared to not vote at all, which means their vote was an automatic “aye”-nobody voted “nay”) stating that Cleveland County would not participate in any United Nations socialist/communist inspired movements and initiatives that are typically called “Agenda 21.” To my recollection Cleveland County Commissioners have already joined Cleveland County up to one of the Agenda 21 initiatives. Perhaps that was why there was no discussion and some of the Commissioners appeared to not vote at all. That is a story for another day.
The Commissioner’s meeting was adjourned at 6:37, closing the 35 minute meeting but not ending the fireworks.
I spotted Danny Blanton talking to the Shelby Star reporter and walked up close to hear what was going on. Danny Blanton did not object to me listening in, I am not so sure about the Star reporter. Danny was showing the Star reporter numerous documents regarding over 20 employee transactions using school system credit cards for imporper purposes. Danny said one school employee bought a 4-wheeler on a school credit card. And many other personal transactions on school cards that were later paid for by the school employee, but sometimes not. Danny refused to give the Star reporter copies of the documents unless the Star would promise to write a news article fairly showing what was in the documents. The Star reporter said I will have to ask my editor.
Danny Blanton made many other statements to the Star reporter. Statements like, “I have received three death threats over this.” Statements like “ I have been threatened “that my house will be burned down to the ground.” Statements like “two School Board members knew about the misuse of school credit cards over four years ago.” Statements like “I have a meeting with Jack Hamrick and Bruce Boyles this Friday and I will not go by myself.” And the Star reporter needs to talk to her editor???
But this is not a new scandal and perhaps the Star is already in on the cover-up and the reporter knows it. Perhaps the Star reporter knows about former Star reporter, Pete DeLea, being fired after one phone call from DCC regarding DeLea asking one question too many about the goings on at DCC. Perhaps the Star reporter does not have a big caliber handgun that is kept locked and loaded like I do.
As for me, I told Danny Blanton that I would post his information on the internet tonight. Danny Blanton replied that he wanted to give the School Board one more chance at his meeting with Jack Hamrick and Bruce Boyles. “If that doesn’t work, I will get back with you.”
Folks, let’s wait and see what happens between Danny Blanton and the School officials on Friday. Danny Blanton says that “if something bad happens to me, another person in Cleveland County has volunteered to take up the investigation” Danny Blanton may be wrong on that. If something bad happens to Danny Blanton and another un-named person takes up the investigation, another NAMED person will take up the investigation. That person is ME.
Stay tuned folks. This is a story that will be told!!! That is what we do.