Tension grows as oversight committee investigates mishandled funds
Grundy County School Board member Chris Grooms left last week’s school board workshop to discover his vehicle had been vandalized in the Grundy County High School parking lot. This, after Grooms blew the whistle on the possible mishandling of funds by school officials.
Grooms, a member of the school board’s oversight committee, says the vandalism may be a result of his concerns over the control of school money. At a previous meeting, he stated that the oversight committee had found evidence suggesting football money from game tickets, concessions, and the t-shirt stand had not been properly handled. (The oversight committee was created to investigate and insure transparency as the board looks into the recent incident in which five football players were charged with attempted aggravated rape.)
During that meeting, Grooms explained that school board member Gary Don Melton had been seen running the concession stand, and that Melton is the brother of Jessie Kinsey, Grundy County Director of Schools.
Last week’s workshop was scheduled to discuss both the handling of the money and the hiring of the football coach, but only the football coach was on the agenda. School board chairman Rob Foster stated as the workshop opened that the board’s attorney, Chuck Cagle, had advised the board against discussing the money and conducting any investigations.
Board member Chris Snyder spoke next, stating he had also spoken to Cagle who explained that the board could discuss the issue of the mishandling of funds, but not make accusations.
After the contentious meeting, Grooms returned to the school parking lot and found the vandalism to his vehicle. The headlights of the truck had been spray painted black, the word “rapist” had been painted on the passenger door, and cooking oil had been poured into the vehicle’s gas tank.