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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Slaughter out as Greencastle Schools CFO

Monday, July 2, 2012

The public portion of the Greencastle School Board meeting regarding Chief Financial Officer Clayton Slaughter's future with the corporation was more wait time than it was meeting.

Having spent nearly two hours in executive session, interviewing Slaughter and discussing the issue, the board took little time to take official action.

The matter came up third on the agenda. Board member Bill Tobin made a motion to terminate Slaughter. Fellow member Mike White seconded the motion.

The measure passed unanimously and the meeting adjourned.

It was over in about two minutes, leaving the crowd of several dozen citizens stunned at the brevity.

Board Secretary Mike Dean, who ran the meeting with no president elected at this time, welcomed the still-gathering crowd at 6 p.m.

He invited public comments, but tersely reminded the audience that only Slaughter's employment and three new hires on the agenda were open for discussion.

No one spoke up, so the board moved on to the new hires, passing them with no discussion.

Consideration of the Slaughter issue was next on the agenda, and there was again no discussion, only action.

Monday was Slaughter's first day back in the office following a remote camping trip outside the country. He was accused of failing to deposit more than $3 million worth of school corporation checks.

More than 100 checks were found in his office recently, some in the safe, others in desk drawers, still others underneath papers on top of the desk.

The CFO had been on paid leave since June 23.

The executive session was Slaughter's chance to defend his actions. However, what was said during the meeting was not made public, and Slaughter quickly exited as soon as the board announced its decision.

Asked if the board had any further comment on the matter, Dean replied in the negative.

"No, no, no comment," Dean told the Banner Graphic.

Unsatisfied with the brevity of the meeting, much of the crowd remained in the converted Ridpath Primary School classroom for some time after adjournment.

A number of questions were raised afterward, both directed at the board and at others in the audience, but board members made no comment.

The termination of an administrator and the public outcry were quite an introduction to life on the board for new members Denise Sigworth and Gary Haussin. With terms that only began on Sunday, the new members were baptized by fire in their first meeting.

The board will next meet at 7:30 p.m. Monday, July 23 (rescheduled from Wednesday, July 11), at which time the board will also elect officers for the 2012-13 year at that time.

With more on the agenda for the regular monthly meeting, citizens with questions about other matters will have a chance to be heard. Questions remain about a State Board of Accounts audit of the corporation and some legal issues raised by Slaughter prior to his suspension.

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pretty crazy

-- Posted by parklane on Tue, Jul 3, 2012, at 11:24 AM

If this board wants to continue to enjoy my support, they'd better open up the Slaughter issue for the public to see. If the board does not become more transparent on this issue, then shame on them. This citizenry is much more enlightened than to have a "no comment" thrown at them. Anyone who has ever had any experience dealing with the news media, and who has had a modicum of training in so doing, knows that "no comment" is a dagger in the heart of integrity.

-- Posted by gadsden on Tue, Jul 3, 2012, at 11:25 AM

This guy can graduate law school and obtain a PHD in Education but can't deposit checks? I think we all know there is something more going on - be transparent.

-- Posted by jorge on Tue, Jul 3, 2012, at 11:47 AM

They will not open the issue for it would expose who is behind it all and who is covering up and throwing others under the bus

-- Posted by talkymom3 on Tue, Jul 3, 2012, at 11:11 PM

I did not know Mr Slaughter personally, nor do I really know Dr Richmond. What I do know is that I have not spoken to a single individual who works in the corporation and feels that Dr Richmond is fair and reasonable. If there were one or two examples of individuals having a problem with Dr Richmond, you might point the finger back at those individuals. When the numbers are massive, the board must consider the possibility that she is the source of the problems, and that those reporting to her are the victims.

Leading in a manner that imposes fear in everyone beneath you is not really leading. Any and all allegations against Dr Richmond need to be investigated, in my opinion.

-- Posted by angelakhuff on Tue, Jul 3, 2012, at 11:48 PM

Is it true they are or were neighbors in Bloomington? Is it true there was a personal connection between the two families? He has no accounting experience?

-- Posted by Ed46135 on Wed, Jul 4, 2012, at 6:44 AM

How about a little trust? I disagree with a previous post concerning Dr. Richmond. I personally have found her to be interested, energetic, and driven to give our students the best education possible in what is doubtlessly a difficult environment at the state and federal level. I don't know any employees who are doing their job well who are "afraid" of the boss. I do know a lot of people who are mostly afraid of change and reluctant to trust "outsiders" who come from as far away as (gasp) Bloomington. Dr. Richmond is a fine Christian person who has found herself in a very difficult situation that she did not know about when she joined us. If the board is not telling the public every little detail about what is happening internally, then I respectfully suggest that there is a reason for that, and the reason is possibly related to pending legal action against one or more past employees. A quick review of board responsibilities will show that legally there are a few topics off limits for public discussion. However, I do fault this newspaper for not taking the lead on this and other issues by trying to dig in and find out more about what is happening. A previous article about the emergency board meeting regarding Mr. Slaughter promised a future in depth article. I have not seen that. What we are missing in our little democracy is a newspaper committed to finding and reporting the facts. What we have here in the comments sections is an endless loop of conjecture.

-- Posted by thinkpositive on Wed, Jul 4, 2012, at 10:13 AM

Amen to that response by thinkpositive! It is easier for the paper to just allow gossip and hate posts to be added to very poorly so called reporting. Ask questions and followups with those that have information.

-- Posted by macvrod on Wed, Jul 4, 2012, at 11:19 AM

School Boards CANNOT discuss personnel issues in a public meeting. Most of us will never know what is discussed in Executive Session, nor do we need to know. Trust must be there that they did the right thing at this time. If there is a hidden agenda, that will come out. Is there a link to Dr. Richmond? That too will come out at some point.

An in depth investigation by the Banner-Graphic would have gathered many opinions and few facts. I personally do not know any of these people nor any board members, but one cannot make critical errors with the public's money. If, in fact, these checks were not deposited in a timely manner, consequences will be handed out to those responsible. We must accept that fact.

Did the coproration's bank accounts go into the "red" due to this error? Were any "penalties/fees" assessed due to insufficient balances? I do not know. But if they were assessed, that is public money wasted due to negligence and inefficiency. That cannot be tolerated if it should have been avoided. The CFO is responsible for these actions, and his supervisor is not totally blameless either. Even though I am sure she trusted him to do his job properly.

I personally do not know any facts about this matter, only what I hear. My comments are from experience and are offered as food for thought.

I offer my congratulations to the School Board for making a tough decision on a tough situation, be it right or wrong. The education of the children must move forward. This will pass.

-- Posted by cvilleguy on Wed, Jul 4, 2012, at 11:55 AM

Let's all remember that we are to look and listen for the facts, and only the facts.

The most important fact is that all of our school board members and our new superintendent found themselves with a huge set of extremely unfortunate issues to manage starting at the beginning of last school year. The fact is that no one in that group knew these were waiting to be discovered, especially the new superintendent.

The facts, the board members and the new superintendent chose to stay and work to correct the multiple issues that were left for them. Any of those board members, and definitely the new superintendent, could have chosen to leave. We may ask then, why did they stay? It seems obvious that each of these individuals stayed to support our schools, our staff, and our community. Period.

The facts, correcting hundreds of thousands of dollars of misdirected funds and illegal procedures is a monumental task for any group. We may ask, was it easy? Surely, it was not. Was there always a clear answer to an issue? Probably there was not ever an easy answer to any of the issues. Would it unsettle some people? Unfortunately, since some of the mismanagement of authority by the former boss had left these issues, it obviously would unsettle some to have their part corrected. Let's help those people that had to have pay or other adjustments made, but don't try to find or lay blame at the board or superintendent's feet. It was not their fault that the past guy was a dweeb.

The facts, since the CFO issue is a personnel issue, the board and superintendent can not talk about the details. Let's support those individuals in their efforts to make the right decisions based on the personnel facts that they know. Even our two new board members voted to terminate this man after they learned of the details. It was a UNANIMOUS vote. That fact alone supports that the right action with the right individual was carried out. A tough decision had to be made, and now let's help everyone move on to do good work.

The facts, let's support all of our board members and the new superintendent for being brave enough to stay with our community and support doing things the right way. They are trying to clean up a monumental mess, and that takes time. They are trying to help all of us!

Have we let our board members and our new superintendent know we appreciate their work, their time, their efforts? No. Unfortunately, our community has not and instead has badgered these people quite unfairly with gossip and lies. I am sad to watch this, and I am sorry that I have not spoken up sooner to support these poeple. Let's call our new superintendent and all the board members, email them, tell them when we see them out and about that we appreciate their efforts as they work through a most unfortunate set of circumstances. We can each simply be another part of their problem, or we can each be a part of the solution.

I choose to be a part of the solution.

The facts, if everyone in our community would stop the whining and instead use their efforts to help, we could have a stellar school system for our community.

We should all be supporting these people in meaningful ways.

Have you?

-- Posted by SupportOurCommunity on Wed, Jul 4, 2012, at 5:35 PM

Direct deposit will eliminate problems like this happening,why hasn't the County Treasurer forced GSC to do this on checks that come from her office?

-- Posted by kubotafan on Wed, Jul 4, 2012, at 7:06 PM

This is a great picture to have up when you have done something as absent minded as leaving a heap of checks hanging around.

-- Posted by Skyscycle03 on Thu, Jul 5, 2012, at 12:39 AM

This is why we are in turmoil! We are one of very few areas where our school boards are appointed and not elected!

-- Posted by Greencastle7 on Thu, Jul 5, 2012, at 8:25 PM

Still looks like there is more cover up going on. Our students don't trust the new superintendent either...don't just lay this on the teachers! The recent letter in the Banner from the former school board president didn't help the board either, when he tried to explain the reason why the new AD was hired. So they wasted a lot of people's time when they knew last fall they were going to hire the person with the least amount of experience?

-- Posted by hereitis on Fri, Jul 6, 2012, at 4:17 PM

To thinkpositive who said: "I don't know any employees who are doing their job well who are "afraid" of the boss." I don't know who you've gotten your info from, but I can assure you that there are STELLAR teachers - teachers who not only teach, but truly are leaders in our corporation - who have been made to fear the current regime. While I cannot say that EVERY employee is intimidated, because I haven't spoken to every one of them, I am confident that you haven't either. Your characterization of all of those who fear for their jobs as low performers is unfair and inaccurate.

Furthermore, I find it very difficult to respect the opinions of those who hide behind an alias. If you are confident in the merit of your opinion, and you are NOT one of the employees being "managed" through intimidation, why not post with your real name?

-- Posted by angelakhuff on Tue, Jul 10, 2012, at 7:38 PM

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