Place 1 Spring Hill ISD board Trustee Michael Henry, who’s up for re-election in May, is part of a Texas Education Agency investigation regarding the purchase of a football stadium scoreboard in 2017.
Henry said in an email that he has no comment on the investigation. He is defending his seat against challenger Meredith Smeltzer.
A letter from the agency to the district states it is the subject of a TEA special accreditation investigation on allegations of fiduciary violations against at least two school trustees.
The letter also states the TEA’s Special Investigations Unit is probing allegations and complaints that Henry and fellow Trustee Frank Bufkin, who is not up for re-election, violated their fiduciary duties as school board members through their involvement in the purchase of the scoreboard by not disclosing any actual or potential conflicts with the district, which would be a violation of state law.
Smeltzer said in an email that she does not have a comment on the investigation since she is not a board member and does not know the details surrounding it.
Place 2 incumbent Ben Shelton declined to comment on the investigation, while his opponent, Dennis McFadin, also said in an email that he is not privileged to all the information relating to the investigation and declined to comment.
Robert Dunaway is challenging Trustee Brad Rogers for the Place 3 seat.
“That’s a confidential investigation. ... There has been absolutely no evidence indicating any wrongdoing by any party, so I’m going to leave the final report to the investigators,” Rogers said.
Dunaway said in an email that he was made aware of the investigation from a February News-Journal article.
“I have read it and the attached letter several times,” Dunaway said in an email. “The issue was also brought up in one of the board meetings following. It was addressed by then acting interim Superintendent Rod Townsend who called if ‘fake news’ and unwarranted.
“My opinion is simple,” Dunaway continued. “If they did not have any findings from their preliminary investigation, they would not have initiated a special accreditation investigation. I will not comment further at this time.”