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ICYMI™: Former Boone County Board of Education Members Indicted

The Free Press WV

Two former members of the Boone County Board of Education were named in indictments on misdemeanor crimes unsealed last week in Boone County Circuit Court.

Mark Edward Sumpter, of Madison, and Danny Lee Cantley, of Racine, were named in three counts each.

They allegedly took gifts from school board vendors while they were in elected office, court documents said.

Boone County Prosecutor Keith Randolph has confirmed the indictments, but declined further comment only to say the defendants are innocent until proven guilty.

According to court documents, Sumpter received several automobile tires from King’s Tire Sevices, Inc. and Martin’s Peterbilt of West Virginia in 2015 and 2016.

It is alleged Cantley received NASCAR tickets from King’s Tire Service, Inc. on three occasions in 2014.

The indictments follow guilty pleas earlier this month from former Boone County Schools Transportation Director Bryan Jarrell and former bus mechanic Tracy Harvey on embezzlement charges. They are scheduled to be sentenced next month.

When Jarrell and Harvey were first charged, State Police Sgt. Charles Sutphin hinted other school officials were under investigation.

We’re looking into some possible misrepresentations and misuse of money on a couple of other individuals also. We are still investigating, Sutphin said at the time.

Circuit Court arraignments for Sumpter and Cantley are scheduled for October 23, 2017.

There is an epidemic of misuse of County school funds in WV. We read about it all the time. That is what happens when finances are purposely packaged in ways to make it too complicated for board members to track and proper local level oversight cannot occur. This problem is one for Governor to solve.

Comment by Boone Is Not Unique  on  09.25.2017

The posting about Boone is a wake up call for the Governor’s road vote coming up.

WV has a bad reputation for graft and corruption when public funds are involved. With the amount of money involved for the road building program with bond money there would be vast opportunities for waste and mismanagement.

Just look at wasted money in County school systems under WVDOE intervention while local control was eliminated. 

Governor Justice should inform voters what he would do to ensure that the new road money would be spent wisely with iron clad accountability for every penny spent.

Comment by Money To Burn  on  09.25.2017

Most likely this road bond deal, will make millionaires of elected officials, families, friends.

The WVDOT has a proven track record on spending.  One not to brag about?

The ‘assisted’ suicide of the former DOT manager has been hushed too?

Comment by reader6  on  09.25.2017

Can someone explain to me why in Gilmer County schools projects were given to certain companies without any bid? Even when these companies kept screwing up, they kept getting paid for fixing their own screw ups? A good example is our supposed to be brand new elementary school. I hear these all the time. What is the real truth?

Comment by truth seeker  on  09.27.2017

We want investigative accounting for all the County’s school money spent on facilities during intervention. We are entitled to details for planning money, money paid out to architects, all money sent on Leading Creek, everything spent on the Arbuckle land plan and Cedar Creek, what was spent to get us at the new GCES, and a complete list for all money paid out for no bid work from start to where we are today.

Comment by Citizens Deserve Facts  on  09.28.2017

That is the standard operating procedure for the Charleston Board of Ed and their mismanagement style. 

Is it any wonder the state has financial issues?

Comment by truth seeker's answer  on  09.28.2017

There have been repeated pleas for a detailed accounting for all the County’s education money spent on facilities and everything associated with them during State control. Why has nothing been done to verify how public money was spent? With use of modern computer records it should be relatively simple to do detailed accounting. Without one and the continuing secrecy lid suspicions are worsened. Didn’t the County have a seizable surplus before intervention and now we face going into the red?

Comment by Where Did Gilmer's School Money Go?  on  10.07.2017

My child graduated from the GCHS with a high GPA and an ACT exceeding 30. Sounded good at first. At WVU the child was deficient in science and math and dual credit classes taken at the HS didn’t measure up. What is the GCBOE doing to make academic improvements at the HS and when will parents and taxpayers in general be informed of the details?

Comment by GCHS Science and Math Programs Suffering  on  10.12.2017

Look at the WVDOE’s Zoom Dashboard. The State’s official results for 2017 testing are alarming. Eleventh graders tested out to be 37% proficient in math compared to 36% in science for 10th graders. Our kids can do much better than this. When will an improvement plan for the high school be developed for application with meaningful built in accountability?

Comment by Fix GCHS' Science And Math Problems  on  10.14.2017

Still keeping up on Gilmer County after ending of your intervention. Been reading your test score information too. Your Local School Improvement Councils are responsible for defining specific approaches for improving student performances. The WV Statute covering roles of councils is 18-5a-2. The Department of Eduction has details on its web site for how councils are selected, their responsibilities, and how elected school boards fit in. Too often the problem has been that detailed results for student performance testing were withheld from councils and their members do not know that there are student performance problems in critical need of correcting. The solution is to ensure that all council members are fully advised of testing results and the full range of their official responsibilities.

Comment by WVDOE Observer  on  10.14.2017

This information is generally unknown in Gilmer County. Google WVDOE LSIC and chick on the item for frequently asked questions about local school improvement councils. Details covers how individuals are selected to serve on councils and what councils are supposed to do to continually improve our schools with keen focus on student learning.

Comment by How Gilmer's LSICs Should Work  on  10.16.2017

Why the secrecy in not disclosing names of those on the County’s LSIC councils and when they meet with published agendas and official meeting minutes?

Comment by Transparency Suffering  on  10.16.2017

smile It’s no secret that the Gilmer Board of Ed sets up a public meeting with the LSIC of each school presenting every year agenda and all. Always have.
 
If you want to know who’s on it or when it meets call your school Principal.  That’s who sets up this internal governance committee per code and will probably be glad to talk with you about it.

Comment by Just Takes a Phone Call  on  10.17.2017

Should not have to get LSIC membership from principals. The information should be published for the public record for all interested citizens including taxpayers to know. Gilmer’s secrecy has been a long time tool used to undermine accountability and it must stop!

Comment by Stop Secrecy!  on  10.19.2017

It is a common occurrence for school administrators to carefully select one small piece of information to purposely give a school a rosy performance rating for student learning and to hide unflattering information from an LSIC and a local BOE. The way to prevent the censorship is for superintendents to routinely provide access to all testing results so performance evaluations for a school can be based on a full set of facts.

Comment by WVDOE Employee For Complete Transparency  on  10.19.2017

From WV Zoom Dash Board. GCES 6th grade student proficiency rate=20% for math and 31% for reading. Gilmer County demands a K-12 improvement plan everyone can understand and promote!!! We have had enough of the everything is just fine claims.

Comment by School Kids Are Cheated  on  10.20.2017

Wanna get votes for the school levy? Simply get truth out about where the County stands with low reading, math, and science scores and publicize a rational plan for fixing problems.

Comment by Truth Will Win Levy Votes  on  10.21.2017
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