By Eric L. Wesson Sr.
CALL Staff Writer
ts findings from an audit of the Hickman Mills School District on Tuesday, March 4.
The audit highlighted the spending habits of the District and the decisions, spending and other actions by former Board President Breman Anderson Jr.
According to Missouri State Deputy Auditor Harry Otto, this was one of the most difficult and lengthy audits they have ever done because of Anderson’s unwillingness to release documents.
In several instances the Auditor had to get court-issued subpoenas or placed Anderson under oath for sworn testimony. Otto called it unusual for their authority to be challenged in such a manner.
There were instances in which Anderson made decisions that should have been approved by the entire Board that he made by himself, and in one instance, a fellow Board member had to file a Sunshine law request to find out what Anderson was up to. There were several instances, according to the audit, where Anderson had held improper closed meetings.
There were numerous instances of the Board not following its own procedure or policies or even state law in selecting its new superintendent and casts doubt on the integrity of the search process that was probably more costly than it should have been, according to the report.
The audit also questioned the actions leading up to the final payout of former Superintendent Dr. Marjorie Williams and the removal of former interim Superintendent Dr. Everlyn Williams.
According to Board minutes, in March 2011, a Board discussion was held on the retirement of former Superintendent Dr. Marjorie Williams, because the Board had voted unanimously to make Dr. Everlyn Williams the Deputy Superintendent and then interim superintendent in July 2012. The Board approved that succession plan.