Board Member Resigns In Light Of Audit Of Rockwood Sch. Dist.
WILDWOOD, MO (KPLR) – Rockwood school board member Steve Smith has announced his resignation, just days after a state audit of the school district put him in hot water.
The audit, released Wednesday to the public, revealed wasteful spending and conflicts of interest.
Still, the school district sees the audit as constructive criticism. School district spokesperson Kim Cranston says, “Our board president has actually issued a statement and has talked about the board’s response to the audit, where she acknowledged that we’re using this for continuous improvement, that there have been mistakes that we are correcting.”
The audit also showed that the school district overpaid Glenn Construction Company, where board member Steve Smith happened to work, to the tune of $1.2 million.
But according to Smith’s letter of resignation, he’s leaving because he’s tired of the accusations: “I no longer wish to expend my energy trying to explain myself and to withstand the diatribes of the uninformed.”
He continues, “When votes were needed, I left the room; I never knowingly voted to benefit Glenn Construction; and I never cast a deciding vote on any Rockwood change orders.”
Despite his denial, the citizens’ group Rockwood Stakeholders for Real Solutions is pleased by the resignation, and now wants other board members to follow suit.
The group’s co-founder, Eileen Tyrrell, explains, “Two weeks before the audit was released, they were made aware of those results. And in light of those results, they still chose to award the superintendent another quarter of a million-dollar contract a year. It didn’t need to be extended; it was already extended until 2015.”
In terms of filling the board’s new vacancy, the school board will accept applications and interview those interested in the job. Then they’ll choose one of the candidates to fill the remainder of Smith’s term.