Fri., February 1, 2013 3:52pm (EST)

Lawyer: Bibb Schools In Financial Scheme
By Adam Ragusea
Updated: 1 year ago

MACON, Ga.  —  
Ron Collier, former Chief Financial Officer of Bibb County Schools, second from right, during court proceedings Friday surrounding the contract entered into by the school district with a community group working with the Promise Neighborhood project. (Photo: Grant Blakenship for The Telegraph)
Ron Collier, former Chief Financial Officer of Bibb County Schools, second from right, during court proceedings Friday surrounding the contract entered into by the school district with a community group working with the Promise Neighborhood project. (Photo: Grant Blakenship for The Telegraph)
Bibb County school administrators have been playing a shell game with millions of taxpayer dollars, said one attorney Friday as a Superior Court judge heard arguments in a whistleblower lawsuit brought by the schools’ former Chief Financial Officer.

In January The Telegraph revealed that Bibb County school administrators had signed a long-term, $575,000 per year lease on part of a building they’d recently sold for less than half that.

The new owner is a non-profit corporation that the schools are working with on an initiative called the Macon Promise Neighborhood.

In court, the whisteblower’s attorney—Jerry Lumley—pointed out that the lease was signed shortly after that corporation had taken on debt with maximum annual payments equaling the school system's annual rent.

"This was all nothing but a scheme to get the taxpayers responsible for paying a ... loan that a private entity took out," Lumley said.

Lumley and his client, the former CFO, want the judge put the breaks on that lease agreement.

Lawyers for the non-profit and the school system argued the lawsuit is invalid on technical grounds.


Contributors: Grant Blankenship