In addition to setting agendas and running board meetings, chairpersons also have the responsibility of appointing committees and their chairs. Tom Bowen, recently voted as Chairman of the DeKalb County School Board for a second term, is about to appoint his committee chairs. Bowen has recommended the following members to the Budget, Finance and Facilities Committee.
Jay Cunningham, Gene Walker, Donna Edler and Don McChesney.
And Jay will be the chair.
I kid you not.
Jay Cunningham. The very same Jay Cunningham who pled guilty to stealing money (over $12,000) while working as a manager at McDonald’s.
And his ethics were called into question for selling pizza to schools.
For more on Jay’s financial woes, read this article at the Champion News online.
"Financial problems plague school board member"
According to court records, board member Jesse “Jay” Cunningham has at least 15 open court cases against him—most of which involve payroll garnishments to pay creditors. Of the cases, four were filed between 2002 and 2007, five in 2008, one in 2009 and five last year. In addition, there are seven cases involving Cunningham that are listed as “closed.”In addition, it appears that Jay has a slight problem controlling his temper.
The garnishments in the open cases exceed $173,000. Records show that his board member check has been garnished by Ford Motor Credit in seven of the open cases. As a board member, Cunningham is paid $23,400 annually.
Other organizations bringing garnishments against Cunningham last year include Delek US Holdings and Mapco Express. Delek is the parent company of Mapco Express, a convenience store. Money from these checks has gone to pay garnishments by Georgia Receivables, a collection agency attempting to settle a debt from Nice Cars Inc.
In the more recent allegations, Cunningham was accused in 2008 by a male friend of his wife of punching the man in the head outside a church on one occasion and of pulling a gun on the man on another occasion. In a separate allegation, a DeKalb school parent told police she believed Cunningham threatened her at a meeting of cheerleading boosters in 2009. Police wrote reports on all three of the alleged incidents — the reports were obtained by the AJC — but Cunningham was not charged in any of them.And what about Gene Walker? Yes, this is the same Gene Walker who took a $20,000 campaign donation from the Sembler Corporation when running for school board, while also serving on the DeKalb Development Authority, the same Authority that Sembler was requesting over $50 million in tax credits, 60% of which come from the school taxes and would need to be confirmed by the school board. Worse, Walker failed to report the donation until after he won the election.
DeKalb County school board member Gene Walker, for example, raised about $20,000 in 2008 from campaign donors associated with the Sembler Co. as it sought a multimillion-dollar tax break from another county board that Walker chaired. Walker disclosed those donations two days after winning the school board seat.Yes, the same Gene Walker who while serving as a state senator, was charged with sexual harassment of an employee, a charge that the state settled for $190,000. That’s $190,000 of the people's money.
The sexual harassment lawsuit pending against state parole board member Gene Walker isn't the first time he's been named in such a case. The Associated Press has learned that the state quietly paid $190,000 a dozen years ago to settle the first lawsuit in which Walker was accused of sexually harassing a secretary.Tom Bowen, in appointing people with such hideous financial records to a finance committee has obviously lost his ability to protect the interests of the DeKalb County School System. Could it be time for a recall? Enough is quite enough.
PROPOSED STANDING COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS
Budget, Finance and Facilities
[C] Mr. Jesse ‘Jay’ Cunningham
Ms. Donna G. Edler
Mr. Donald E. McChesney
Dr. Eugene P. Walker
Business, Community and Government Relations
[C] Ms. Sarah Copelin-Wood
Ms. Nancy T. Jester
Mr. Jesse ‘Jay’ Cunningham
Dr. Pamela A. Speaks
Instruction and Board Policy
[C] Dr. Pamela A. Speaks
Ms. Sarah Copelin-Wood
Ms. Nancy T. Jester
Mr. Donald E. McChesney
The vote on the committee assignments will be tomorrow at 11 am.