Statement From Citizen Advocates For Accountable Government Regarding Board Of Education Audio Recording Of Elected Officials

By Dale Lands and John Saluppo
CAAG Founders

The purpose and mission of Citizen Advocates for Accountable Government (CAAG) is to hold ELECTED OFFICIALS responsible to the constituency they serve. We supported Michelle Antoine and Kevin Donovan in the primary election after a year of vetting. We found them to be candidates with integrity, and we were thankful for the audio recording they released on Monday.

They put their campaigns at risk by coming forward with a recording of current elected officials discussing how to hide funds. When these candidates could have stayed away from controversy, they made the right choice to expose possible wrongdoing. The recent attacks on the candidate’s families over their openness to the public with this audio is despicable, and we offer our support and sincere thank you for their willingness to come forward.

Regarding the audio recording of Board Members Kay Carroll and Lyn Andrews, we denounce any public official that would have any conversation that speaks of hiding money, or keeping it concealed from the public. Hide your money means the same thing no matter the context, this especially holds true when hide the money follows a complete conversation as to why it needs to be hidden from the county commissioners.

The voices on the tape were clear and obvious, Kay Carroll spoke of the actual intent with his words, to hide money from commissioners. In the tape neither elected official corrected or opposed the words hide your money and asked a school employee to participate in Kay Carroll’s stated plan.

At the Tuesday board meeting Kay Carroll and Lyn Andrews had the school employee explain their words on that tape in what appears to be an attempt to deflect from their involvement, this is completely unacceptable. No employee should be used by elected officials in this way.

There are questions that need to be answered from the board of education meeting this week. First, the numbers presented are not exact. Eight million and eight and a half million are not close as was suggested, our accounting cannot be off by one half a million dollars. Second, the statement that the commissioners knew about an eight-million-dollar transfer, and approved it, was false. Third, the recorded March audio lays out a plan to fund line items and move it. The process carried out in May by these board members suggests that was accomplished, we simply don’t have the supporting ledgers to know how it was accomplished.

The above unaddressed questions lead CAAG to join the two candidates in calling for N.C. State Auditor Beth Wood to come and take a close look at the finances of the Johnston County schools.

We are asking the board of commissioners to seriously consider holding off an approval of this fund transfer until the accounting behind it can be thoroughly investigated. Additionally, we ask the accounts of the school board without a necessary budget purpose be returned to the county accounts. This would maintain a better bond rating and allow unused funds to be dispersed back to the taxpayers.

We encourage a satisfactory fund balance for the schools, but trust between the two boards must be rebuilt. Real transparency with open accounting practices for the citizens to have access would be a good step into building back trust between the public and these two boards.


  1. Well said, and heartily backed. Far too much of this sort of thing goes on, and a lot of money winds up in pockets of higher-ups and their good buddies while the rank and file employees, students and parents, and taxpayers are told there isn’t enough money. The goal always seems to be growing the publicly funded empire, not producing better students or rewarding the best workers and teachers.

  2. Agree with the assessment and heartily support the release of the audio recording. Expecting further action resulting in some kind of discipline for the abusing parties.

    • Kevin and Michelle need to step away. Their gonna be problems if they ever get a chance to make it If they do it’s only because they used tippet for his votes but it’s crazy how tippet didn’t want nothing to do with releasing the tape At least we have money in the account to get some things done. Still need more money for our teachers These people that released the tape looks like they don’t want the Schools to have no money. Watch these sneaky people

    • Imitation, flattery, etc.

      Where can I catch up with CAAG? I don’t use Facebook; they don’t believe in life, liberty or property.

    • What “shenanigans”? I’m pretty sure he’s not mentioned in this article. This is a perfect example of killing the messenger. SMH.

  3. Very well said. Now to get to the bottom of this mess. Thanks for fighting for the citizens, CAAG! Out elected officials need to serve the public and not their pockets.

  4. CAAG=Brownshirt Fascists who support extortion and racketeering. Send your thugs to where I am and I’ll tell them to a CAAGs face. You know where to find me

  5. Yawn…Another Ronald Johnson kool-aid drinking crowd. CAAG…the same clowns that brought Madison Cawthorn to our area during their so called march and rally. Come on people, these people are nothing but a bunch of turd stirrers. I hope Ronald’s gang of three are not elected to the Board…we will have endless years of nothing but finger pointing and power grabbing. They do not care about our kids, only the thirst of power!

  6. As if this wasn’t enough of a circus already, in steps Bozo the Clown Lands and his minion. I would say he’s trying to pour gasoline on this fire, but I’m sure it would just end up being silly string or confetti in his container.

    Dale, do you take every euphemism or metaphor you hear literally? All of you involved in this embarrassing dumpster fire are worse than a bunch of middle school kids trying to create drama (by the way, I’m using “dumpster fire” as a metaphor, I am not accusing you of literally going behind Wal Mart and igniting a bunch of combustible material inside of a dumpster). Ronald, Kevin, Michelle and you need to be featured on Dance Moms.

    Go back to your bunker and work on your next fabricated conspiracy theory to follow up the CRT Boogie Man.

  7. $180-K-Carroll and Ma Andrews could clear up all speculation by demanding an audit themselves. Then when everything checks out they can again return to thier positions of the pillars of the community. Until then they have lost any meaningful respect of being a open and balanced book of leadership. Unless $180-K-Carroll and Ma Andrews demand a audit the Parents and Tax Payers are left to wonder has the same thing happened here in our beloved county as it has in other school systems that a movie based off of a true story called Bad Education? Watch the movie folks and you may see why people thinks they can just fix this internally and move on. I am sure this is not the case here in our beloved county, but wouldn’t it be nice to know for sure?

  8. I’m torn between wanting accountability from the school board and knowing that the CAAG are a bunch of clowns.

    • Don’t conflate the two in your mind.The taxpayers are entitled to transparency and accountability regardless of how you feel about people who think so. Broken clock, etc.

  9. A forensic audit is the only way to clear this up. It seems to me this county lacks sufficient oversight and moral turpitude as “we are what we seem to be”.Given all the turbulence in the past and now this mess ; I believe the citizens need laws in place to clean house as needed. Johnston county has made news as far as the UK for outrageous behavior from town to country management failures. Enough

  10. CAAG supported Madison Cawthorn & Robby Starbuck, two politicians from hundreds of miles away, making JoCo the laughing stock of the US thanks to Comedy Central. BOTH of these politicians are no longer relevant (Cawthorn lost his primary as an incumbent, & Starbuck was disqualified from his race by the Republican party). CAAG is not who I’d side with here, regardless of what is being said at the Clayton Hardee’s.

Comments are closed.