The Kentucky attorney general’s office said it found “no sufficient grounds” in its investigation of Sherry Richardson, a member of the Clark County Public Schools Education Board, to impeach her on Monday.
In February, after an internal investigation, school board attorney Brian Thomas forwarded allegations that Richardson’s family business, Howard’s Overhead Doors, made more than $ 85,000 from the sale of goods and services to a district-funded construction project for the George Rogers Clark High School Sports Complex. , which led to the investigation by the Attorney General’s office.
Under Kentucky law (KRS 160.180), it is specified that a person is not entitled to serve on the school board if he or she has an “interest” in the sale of goods or services to the board.
In a letter to Chairman of the Board Ashley Ritchie, Assistant Attorney General Jeremy Sylvester wrote: “Here it does not appear that Mrs Richardson had the requisite knowledge of Howard’s sale of the door. maintenance workshop and remote controls to CCPS to make it ineligible for membership. to the Council under KRS 160.180.
Sylvester wrote that the investigation found “no evidence to suggest that Rising Sun and Howard’s had a secret profit-sharing agreement.” During the investigation, the attorney general’s office discovered that Howard’s had provided estimates to the general contractor for the project, Rising Sun Development, in 2017, and that the board of directors had approved the contract and the project shortly. soon after. Rising Sun had no obligation on the board of directors to outsource to Howard’s. This was all done before Richardson began his tenure in 2019.
Additionally, the investigation revealed that in her role as Treasurer, Richardson “handles accounts payable, pay, taxs, and Fimold reports.”
In the letter, Sylvester wrote that Richardson’s husband Will, “a primary rescustomer service responsibility and sales “and”he writes work orders and generated the invoices for the maintenance store doors and remote controls and handed them over to CCPS for Payment. ”He also wrote that Richardson said she had no knowledge of business transactions until the complaint arose about her and was unaware that the Commission had approved the invoices.
Richardson’s legal advisor, Corbin’s attorney, Timothy Crawford, said: “Ms. Richardson and I are satisfied with the thorough investigation by the Attorney General’s office and we are also delighted that they are to agree with our legal analysis that she did not violate any of her ethical obligations or any of the eligibility requirements to serve as a school board member. . She is happy and happy to continue to serve the students and parents of Clark County. “
In recent weeks, Richardson has asked the board to hire new legal services, which resulted in a 3-0 vote last Friday to end his business relationship with the law firm. Thomas, Grant, Rose & Pumphrey, despite the firm submitting an offer that charged the board an hourly rate $ 120 less than the Mount Sterling company the board chose to hire.
Several parents at Friday’s meeting berated the council for the way it handled the issue.
Ritchie and co-chair of the board of directors Bill Taulbee withdrew from interviews and votes regarding legal services. Both claim to have been excluded from conversations about the day and time of the meeting.