The Jackson County School Board has issued a strongly worded letter, washing their hands of the controversy created when Superintendent Ken Harding failed to comply with state requirements on school construction.
The issue at hand is the way Harding handed out a contract to repair the Pisgah High School Gym. The Alabama Building Commission shut down the project in June after it was revealed that plans for the renovation were never submitted to the state - a key requirement for any school work. The ABC alleges that Harding never opened the project to bidding and the contractor began work without approval.
Several complaints have been filed with the Alabama Attorney General's Office and Alabama Board of Education in connection with the incident. Superintendent Harding had no comment on the matter when we reached out to him multiple times over the past two weeks.
The letter details the problem, before coming to the following scathing conclusion:
The Board cannot explain why the School Superintendent failed to comply with the specific requirements of the Public Works Bid Law on the Pisgah Gym Project or his failure to obtain prior approval of the project from either the Board or the Alabama Building Commission. The Board believes that the Superintendent misinterpreted the Public Works Bid Law as a result of his failing to timely consult with the School Board Attorney on the matter. Further, proper protocol requires adherence to the Public Works Bid Law and meeting the requirements of the Alabama Building Commission. The Board members absolve themselves of responsibility on matters on which they have not been consulted and have not been approved by an official vote of the Board. The Board is committed to working in conjunction with the School Superintendent to make certain that such mistakes do not occur in the future.