Education

Scott County school board member says FBI interviewed him about school construction practices

GEORGETOWN — Scott County school board member Haley Conway said Tuesday night that he has been interviewed by the FBI about school construction practices in the district.

That announcement during a public school board meeting comes in the wake of recent news that the state Office of Education Accountability has interviewed administrators, board members and site-based council members about a 15-percent raise for Superintendent Patricia Putty, a school board trip to Northern Kentucky, and hiring at a middle school.

Board members said little in response to Conway's statement, and no one volunteered whether they had been interviewed.

"In the last two weeks, I have been pulled out twice from my job for two interviews with the Office of Education Accountability, and I've also been called with almost a two-hour conversation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation," Conway said.

Conway said the FBI interview did not concern his conduct "but it concerned the district that I represent. I find it highly embarrassing." He also said, "I'm not the only one that they've called. I asked point blank."

Conway's announcement came after he asked a series of questions about why the same firms are hired for architectural and construction management contracts in the district.

Mike Luscher, director of facilities for the Scott County schools, said every step of school construction is approved by the Kentucky Department of Education.

As for the FBI, Luscher said, "Let 'em come. We'll go through whatever they want to come and ask. ... Anybody can make allegations."

Luscher told reporters later that he had been interviewed by the OEA, but said he was unaware of FBI interest. He would not say what he discussed with the OEA.

The school board voted 4-1 Tuesday to approve the $8 million second phase of construction of a new elementary school. The total cost of the new school scheduled to open in 2013 is more than $20 million. Some parents said that money should go toward a new high school.

The board also voted to name the new building Lemons Mill Elementary School.

Conway and other school board members were not available for follow-up questions because the board went behind closed doors to discuss a student disciplinary matter.

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