GBI probes allegations of threats to MCSD board members - WRBL

GBI probes allegations of threats to MCSD board members

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COLUMBUS, Ga. -

A Georgia Bureau of Investigation probe involving the Muscogee County School Board is focused on the board's legal matters.

A source with direct knowledge of the investigation said at issue is whether local political consultant Frank Myers or state senator Josh McKoon went too far when trying to influence board members to change from its current legal counsel, Hatcher Stubbs & Attorneys at Law.

Two school board members approached Police Chief Ricky Boren regarding alleged threats and on March fourth he requested the GBI probe. Investigators are looking at phone records, text messages and other information to determine if a full investigation needs to be launched.

Investigators are also interviewing all board members and anyone else that may be able to help in the probe.   

Board Chair Rob Varner said citizens should still have faith in the board. "Let's make it clear. They're not investigating the school district; they're not investigating the board or individual members of the board, that's not the target of the investigation."

Myers has been vocal about the school board over-paying for legal counsel compared to other districts in the state. In a recent interview he said, "Kids are going without the supplies they need while lawyers are being paid twice what they deserve to be paid."

Myers declined an interview Friday, but said he has not been contacted by the GBI. News three was unable to reach Senator Josh McKoon for a comment Friday.

A local newspaper, "The Courier," obtained text messages sent from Myers to three board members through an open records request.

In a message sent to board member John Wells on January 19th of this year, Myer's wrote, in part, "If the school board is status quo on the issues important to me after Tuesday night. I'm taking you out in 2014. Got it?"

Wells said he was appalled when he read it and said Myers was referring to his position on the district's legal counsel.

In another text to newly-elected member Athavia Senior Myers said quote "AJ, you haven't thought this through. You are apparently about to go down a path that will define (negatively, unfortunately) your service on the board."

Varner said the school board gets involved in a lot of controversies, but the majority of them are started from outside forces. "This latest situation is just... some of our board members are having to react to this GBI investigation because of outside pressure and influence and that's just, that's just simply what that is."

He said there are dedicated, hard-working people on the board. "What's so unfortunate is you get these flair ups that occur, they happen but it shouldn't over-way or overwhelm all the good positive things that our professionals are doing within the district."

Despite the probe, Varner said the board is still focused on their work.

Sydney Cameron

Sydney joined the WRBL news team in December 2011 after working as a freelance reporter in Washington, D.C. More>>

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