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Sullivan County Schools launch investigation into liquor, porn allegedly stolen from warehouse

October 23rd, 2009 12:00 am by Rain Smith

The Sullivan County School system is conducting an internal investigation to determine if liquor and pornographic DVDs were indeed stolen from their storage facility.

A Blountville man was arrested for allegedly breaking into their warehouse, 580 Holston Drive, Blountville, early Wednesday morning. The Sullivan County Sheriff's Office arrested a suspect, Larry J. Fleenor Jr., 780 Hamilton Road, Apt. P5, at his home later that day.

Police say Fleenor admitted to breaking into the facility and stealing several items. According to an offense report at the Sheriff's Office, those items included eight pornographic DVDs, a Jack Daniel's gift box, another bottle of Jack Daniel's and Chivas Regal Scotch.

Larry Hall, the school system's supervisor of human resources, says an internal investigation into the matter is being conducted. On Thursday school maintenance supervisor Joe Mike Akard told the Times-News a used laptop was stolen -- another item police recovered from Fleenor -- but he didn't know if anything else was taken.

"The gentleman that was arrested states that these items came from our facility," said Hall on Friday morning. "Our understanding is that he's a suspect in at least one other burglary, perhaps more, and we don't know how much truthfulness to any statements he makes. Already he's a confessed burglar and thief."

According to SCSO Capt. Keith Elton, Fleenor is a suspect in a business break-in that occurred the same night, in a neighboring county.

Hall said there has never been a previous incident in which such items were found in any of the school's facilities. He added that the warehouse, "doesn't involve the presence of students ever -- ever. "

"If these items were in our facility that's wholly inappropriate and we strongly disapprove."

As to whether any disciplinary action or termination would be levied against employees, if found responsible, Hall said it was too early to comment.

"We would have to consult with school board's attorney, director of schools, and a do a very careful and thorough check of school board policy before any determination such as that was made," Hall said.

According to a Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office press release, Fleenor said he was looking for money but took several bottles of liquor, the laptop, two cameras and eight pornographic DVDs.

"We don't know how much truthfulness to attribute to him, quite frankly," Hall said.

The School System's investigation is expected to last several days.

Fleenor has been charged with burglary, theft over $500 and vandalism under $500.

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