Hawkins County director of schools Charlotte Britton (far left) greets her supporters following Thursday's Board of Education meeting (photos by Jeff Bobo)
ROGERSVILLE — The rumor around Hawkins County this past week was that county school director Charlotte Britton was going to be asked to resign at Thursday’s Board of Education meeting.
If that had happened, there may have been a riot in the board meeting room, which was filled Thursday with a standing-room-only crowd of Britton supporters for the BOE meeting.
Many of those supporters were wearing a sticker on their shirts that read “S.O.S. Save Our Schools, Charlotte’s the 1.”
During the meeting, Britton spoke briefly about the two recent controversies that had sparked the rumor mill about her future in the school system.
She said she was "shocked" to learn that former finance director Myron Dale had failed to make two routine employee withholding payments to the IRS this past November and March. Dale was fired by Britton on June 17, the day the school board was scheduled to meet and approve the 2013-14 budget.
Britton said she also was not informed about the $166,000 in IRS fines levied against the school system until May 30, and those fines are currently under appeal.
On Thursday, the BOE approved its 2013-14 budget, using $1.9 million in savings to offset a budget deficit, as had been anticipated prior to Dale’s dismissal.
The approval was delayed 10 days to double-check Dale’s work on the budget. Britton said the state comptroller had also visited the Central office following Dale's dismissal and had confirmed figures.
"I wish to reassure the public, and citizens of Hawkins County that checkpoints and safeguards are presently in place at this time to prevent any future costly mistakes," Britton said.
Britton also mentioned that she and her staff are cooperating with a TBI investigation into allegedly payroll “double-dipping” among some school employees who also drive a school bus.
Prior to adjourning, BOE chairman Randy Collier said Britton and the board can “hold their heads high” for their accomplishments.
For Britton's entire comment on the IRS fine and TBI investigation, and Collier's complete response, click the video report below.