An audit of the Bertie County School System several months ago revealed questionable spending by top administrators, like credit cards paid for by tax dollars. WITN has been investigating since then and has obtained the school's financial documents, which show the spending habits of some employees with the Bertie County School District.
Here's what we found. A trip to Portsmouth, Virginia with nearly $8,000 in hotel rooms. A trip for several central office employees to New York state, including a boat ride under Niagara Falls on the Maid of the Mist, another boat ride on the Spirit of Norfolk in Virginia for over $800, and a month later a ride on that same boat for nearly $1,300. There was also over $40.00 in souvenirs.
Rick Harrell, the chairman of the Bertie County Board of Commissioners says, "We're going through the information now trying to determine if there was any misuse of taxpayer money."
The documents we obtained represent two of three sets of credit cards held by some central office employees and they show just nine months of activity. The documents also show contracts with Capehart's Janitorial Service totaling nearly $10,000. That company is owned by the school district's maintenance director.
Bertie County School officials say use of the credit cards has been suspended until they can evaluate the situation further. WITN is pursuing comments on these expenditures from school officials and will have more details Wednesday at six.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or firstname.lastname@example.org.