Metro School Board Members Call For Outside Investigation, As Questions Surround Director | Nashville Public Radio

Metro School Board Members Call For Outside Investigation, As Questions Surround Director

Feb 13, 2019

 

During Tuesday night's school board meeting, several members said there ought to be an extensive independent investigation into whether the Metro Nashville Public Schools Director, Shawn Joseph, violated purchasing rules in his business contracts with vendors.

This discussion comes after the Metro Audit Committee voted to rejected an audit that had been favorable toward the director.

 

The original audit found all but two of the 15 allegations that Joseph had broken purchasing rules were unsubstantiated. But last night, the Metro Audit Committee and several school board members said it wasn’t thorough enough. And Mark Swann, Metro's chief audit executive, agrees his team's review was limited in scope.

 

"These were specific allegations we were given, and we targeted on those specific allegations. A lot of what you’re talking about does not relate to these specific allegations," said Swann.

 

During the meeting, board member Amy Frogge brought up one of those claims. She said the audit didn't address that Joseph coordinated no-bid business contracts that violated state laws. Some board members cautioned against unfair treatment of Joseph, who is black. But others like Fran Bush said an independent investigation could help the board consider Joseph’s track record more objectively.

 

"This is an administrative problem, and this is a superintendent problem. This is not a race issue and if we need a third party investigation to take us out of the loop, that's probably what we need to do," said Bush.

 

The board is still weighing whether to move forward with that outside investigation.

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