Board of Education Facing More Problems

More heat for the Savannah-Chatham County school board Wednesday.

The last time they met, the superintendent was out of a job. Now, they're blaming him for problems with an internal audit.

The school district had an internal audit done on the Human Resources Department, and that audit came back with a dozen things that need to be addressed -- and some of those, board members say should have been addressed already.

Perhaps the most surprising recommendation to come out of the audit is that Annual Performance Evaluations need to be done for everyone.

Surprising, because board members had been assured last year that that particular problem was already being addressed.

"Col. O'Sullivan as superintendent was responsible," says acting Superintendent George Bowen, "But you have to remember also, this is a large organization and he has to depend on subordinate managers to do the right thing."

Evaluations aren't specifically handled by the HR department, but auditors say that department should have taken a leadership role in getting them done.

Board member David Wegman says, "The Prior superintendent said it's being handled. Well now we find out that it wasn't and it's not. If you don't keep this paperwork, it's impossible to get rid of an employee that does not do their job."

One of the other things to come out of the audit: abuse of travel expenses.

In one case, people bought alcohol with travel cards and charged the district almost twice as much for meals than they're allowed to.

"I have yet to know anybody I've ever worked with in any school system who did not know specifically what their limitations were," says board member Dr. David Lerch. "On hotels, on meals, and on any other kind of expense they're subject to."

Some people may have tried to go to the board meeting today only to find an empty room; that's because they've moved. From now on, BOE meetings will be at Whitney Elementary, where they can accommodate more people.

Reported by: Chris Cowperthwaite,