During the school board campaign of 2013 I became interested in all the reports I had heard about regarding the credit card scandal at CCS. I also became interested in the cover-up that seemed to surround CCS’s doings. So I decided to do some investigation of my own.
Starting in December of 2013 I started attending school board meetings along with helping Hal Trammell (of Shelby News-Opinion) film the meetings (as well as county commissioner meetings and other such things). I studied the Freedom of Information Act requirements and formats and submitted my own request for the school system credit card records. My submittals were made in accordance with North Carolina law with the expectation and demand that CCS comply with the law.
Having to comply with public records laws went over like a lead balloon at CCS. The CCS Board Chairman would not let Danny Blanton speak up at meetings and it appeared the CCS Board was not going to comply with citizens rights to inspect public documents. Danny might have to abide by the CCS Board Chairman during meetings, but my computer and I had no such requirement. So, my battle with the Cleveland County Schools had begun. Commissioners too.
To make my part of this story as short as possible, I reminded the CCS Board that I had a legal right of recourse (the Courts) if CCS didn’t comply with the law and set about making sure I had my legal ducks in a row. This was the last straw for Superintendent Dr. Bruce Boyles. Although Dr. Boyles had a sure three years and over $500,000 in salary assured through 2017, I believe my email to Boyles and the School Board right before a School Board meeting caused Dr. Boyles to decide to resign. Which he did in January, 2014.
It appeared to be another planned scheme that would go like this; Boyles resigns from CCS and any new Superintendent could claim not to know anything about any credit card problems. Boyles’s resignation was falsely termed “retirement” because his lucrative contract had no provision for retirement. No problems for Boyles since Gardner-Webb happened to conveniently jump in and offer him a job, which he immediately accepted. So much for “retirement,” eh.
Now we are set for the recruitment and selection of a new Superintendent at CCS. Then, along comes a new series of scandals jumping out from CCS. Big scandals, sex scandals that make news around the world. And scandals that make you sick to your stomach.
But scandals don’t phase the CCS School Board. They just ignore them all. The first thing CCS does is hire the North Carolina School Boards Association to provide consulting services for $15,000 to assist in recruiting and selecting a new superintendent. Many, myself included, suspected this was a scam from the start. My thought was, what reputable school superintendent candidate from somewhere else would want to come to Cleveland County and jump right in the middle of a multitude of scandals? Only someone from the inside, well known to the Good Ole Boys and expected to keep a lid on the truth at CCS would most likely be the only one selected. I even wrote an article predicting this outcome and who the selection would be.