Jasper Co. School Board responds to federal investigation - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Jasper Co. School Board responds to federal investigation

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JASPER CO., SC (WTOC) -

There was a packed house at Jasper County's School Board meeting Monday night.

A lot of people attended to hear the school board's statement about the current federal investigation of the district.

Many parents wanted to know what the investigation is about. Unfortunately, they didn't get that answer because the board doesn't know. 

Neither does the superintendent, nor her staff.

Members of SLED and the IRS showed up at the district office last Wednesday, asking for multiple documents, including financial reports and credit card statements. They event went to the superintendent's house.

"The agent who appeared at Dr. Washington's home had no search warrants, and did not offer any legal documents," said school board chairwoman, Berty Riley.

The investigation came as a surprise to district officials, but the district said it has nothing to do with the audit in their 2013 financial report.

Officials said the district inadvertently duplicated some expenditures, which resulted in overpayment by the South Carolina Department of Education. They said it was a mistake, and the money will be returned to the State Department of Education.

Residents were relieved by the news, but many said the investigation is still a cloud hovering over the community and its students.

"I hope whatever comes out of this investigation benefits the children of Jasper County, and they get the education that they deserve," said Stacy Kirk.

Riley said every employee of the district is cooperating with law enforcement officials, but she doesn't want the investigation to get in the way of what really matters: the students.

"Jasper County School District aspires to become the pride of the community, where all students are empowered to excel to high academic standards," said Riley.

The U.S. Attorney's Office would not comment on the investigation.

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