Former Bibb County School Superintendent Romain Dallemand repeatedly violated school board policy by ordering more than $26 million in technology equipment and services without required, prior approval from the board, according to a 2013 audit of the school system.
By JENNA MINK and OBY BROWN
One of those purchases — for nearly $3.8 million — was for 15,000 virtual desktop devices. Now, more than a year after they were ordered, about 14,800 of the devices still sit unused in a Bibb County warehouse. The order was placed without bids and without prior board approval, the audit said.
But that’s just a sample of the scathing report, scheduled for presentation to the school board this afternoon by the system’s auditor, Mauldin & Jenkins. In some cases, the system is now trying to cut its losses — involving millions of dollars from sales tax proceeds — by trying to resell both hardware and software that it can’t or hasn’t used.
Over the seven months in question, July 2012 to February 2013, Dallemand “authorized, directed and coerced staff to make transactions that were in violation” of board policies, said the audit for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2013. The Telegraph obtained the audit through an Open Records Act request.
The audit lists the cause of the violations as an “apparent reckless disregard by the former superintendent for existing school district procurement policies established by the board of education.”
Attempts to reach Dallemand, who left the school system a year ago after the board bought out his contract for $350,00, plus benefits, were not successful. The Telegraph also tried to reach one of his former lieutenants, Suzanne Griffin-Ziebart, for comment. Griffin-Ziebert, who served as interim superintendent after Dallemand departed, took a job in Minneapolis, Minn., last year.