Still no decision about Larke's contract

By: Diane Cho
By: Diane Cho

Talks about Richmond County school superintendent Dr. Charles Larke's contract should've been over by May 1, but board members are saying its still very much up in the air.

As of now, there is no official date set as to when the school board will meet again to talk about it or to take a vote.

And as both board members and their attorney are out of town this week, it's unlikely any decision will be made by the end of the week.

"We had a May 1 deadline according to the superintendent's contract in order to complete negotiations and have a contract in place," says A.K. Hasan of the Richmond County School Board.

Deadline or not, Dr. Larke's contract continues to be a mystery.

"There is an offer on the table and therefore the discussions are ongoing," Hasan says.

An offer none of the board members are at liberty to discuss publicly until they make a final decision.

But one board member says he's had enough.

Ken Echols tells News 12, "Dr. Larke needs to take what the board has offered, and I will not support any kind of a payout deal."

This raises questions as to whether the superintendent got a satisfactory evaluation to begin with.

"We want to make sure that any time we're dealing with personnel, that we give everyone due diligence or due process," Hasan says.

At the school board's last meeting on April 18, instead of adjourning, the board president called for a recess, implying the discussions are ongoing.

But because another date was not set, the board's extension could be indefinite.

"It's a complicated process, and there've been a lot of issues," says Hasan.

It's why board member Hasan was left to write a formal request asking the board to reconvene next week so they can finish what they've started.

And that's not sitting well with taxpayers.

"They should've completed it and notified the public as to what their findings and decisions were, as he is an appointed official, and we have a right to know," says Richmond County parent Dee Harris.

"It's not fair to keep dragging it out, he should retire or resign really for all the things he has not done for the Richmond County school system," says parent Evelyn Rouse.

Calls to both Dr. Larke and the school board's president were not returned.

When News 12 spoke to Dr. Larke's attorney, he told us any comments will have to come from Dr. Larke himself.

And who exactly is paying for Dr. Larke's attorney? That's you, the taxpayer, of course.

So far, according to Mr. Hasan, Larke has already spent about $5,000 to have a Mr. Hawkins represent him during his re-evaluation process over the years, and depending on how long this thing lasts, it could be even more.


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