Second School Board Member Calls For Forensic Audit

Johnston County School Board Member Teresa Grant. File Photo

A second member of the Johnston County Board of Education has gone on record in support of a forensic audit of school finances.

Teresa Grant said she would like to see a forensic audit conducted so that school leaders and the public know where every cent of public funds have been spent.  She joins Ronald Johnson who had previously called for a forensic audit.

Grant was among three school board members in a recent meeting with interim Superintendent Dr. Jim Causby. Ronald Johnson and Chairman Todd Sutton were in the same meeting. Johnson claims Dr. Caubsy stated a school finance director ‘purposely lied’ about the finances.  Causby has denied making those comments. Last week, Chairman Sutton agreed, saying the interim superintendent did not make those remarks.   Grant says she did not recall if those comments were made.

In a Jan. 2nd press conference on the steps of the Johnston County Courthouse, Chairman Sutton said an October 2019 audit report showed there was no evidence of any financial issues.  “At no time has anything been brought to our attention with respect to misappropriation or cover up on the part of any employee of the JCPS,” Sutton said last week. However, Grant says Chairman Sutton mentioned to her at a recent meeting that board members were not given all the facts about their financial situation, contradicting his public statement.

“I do not recall Dr. Causby stating that the finance officer misled the Board of Education; however, I do recall Mr. Sutton mentioning to me at one of our board meetings that we were not given all of the facts about our finances,” Grant said in an email to JoCoReport.  “Regardless, every board member can name some big ticket items that have helped deplete our fund balance – the last teacher supplement, safety and security measures, boiler/chiller rentals/repairs/replacements, and a new teaching curriculum, plus our exceptional children’s shortfall. For us to understand where every penny was spent, a forensic audit would be needed. With so many questions from within and without, we owe it to ourselves, our staff and the citizens we serve to move forward with this audit.”

Dr. Causby has asked Johnston County Commissioners for an additional $8.8 million in funding this fiscal year. Commissioners have not responded to his request.