Report: DeKalb taxpayers spent more than $30K to pay suspended board members

by: Erica Byfield Updated:

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A report shows that DeKalb County taxpayers have shelled out more than $30,000 to pay suspended school board members.

In late February, Gov. Nathan Deal suspended Dr. Eugene Walker, Nancy Jester, Pamela Speaks, Donna Edler, Jay Cunningham and Sarah Wood and appointed six replacements.

A report by an agency that accredits schools suggested the suspended board members were dysfunctional and had poor money management skills.

Channel 2's Erica Byfield submitted an open records request for their pay and benefit information since the governor suspended them in late February and learned they each have been issued five checks, and have taken home a total of $4,875. The money covers base pay and travel expenses.

Another document obtained by Channel 2's Erica Byfield indicates the replacement board members have made $3,046 since their appointment.

"It's something as a taxpayer that you don't like to see," DeKalb County resident Carl Neigoot said.

All of the suspended board members, except Jester, sent the governor a letter asking to be reinstated by the late April deadline.

Instead, Jester sent the governor a resignation letter.

The first line reads, "I am tendering my official resignation to you."

That sentence is critical because DeKalb school officials said Jester has never told them she wanted to resign, thus they continue to send her taxpayer-funded paychecks.

Byfield spoke to Jester on the phone.

Jester confirmed she has not sent a resignation letter to the school district. The Dunwoody resident added since she did not ask the governor to be reinstated, she was under the impression she will no longer receive DeKalb school paychecks.