This site first published the story of the virtual financial collapse of the Hattiesburg Public School District a few months ago. If you haven’t read that article you can read it here. In a nutshell the district’s leadership, mismanaged over $3,500,000 in monies, which drained the general fund to just over $700,000. The fund should maintain a balance of approximately$4,000,000, or 10% of the annual budget. When or if the fund goes in the negative, state statute will have been violated, and the state will likely take the district over. This site believes that is inevitable.
The root of the problem is that the Mayor has appointed political cronies to the board who will follow his lead and has influence over hiring in the district. Once such political crony is Board President, Marcus Cathey. He was almost definitely violating state law by utilizing a school building to hold regular, Sunday Church Services. After this site exposed the improper use of school property, Cathey stopped using the building. That article, with related evidence, can be read here.
Enter Carmen Anderson, Head of Human Resources for the district. She is a favorite of Mayor Dupree. Mrs. Anderson and her husband , Joe, a local firefighter were both busted by this site for voting illegally in the 2013 Mayoral election. Anderson, along with her husband, both plead guilty to illegal voting. As a part of their plea agreements with District Attorney Patricia Burchell, they were subject to alcohol and drug testing for six months, before the voting offence was wiped off their records.
Adding insult to injury, neither of the Andersons had their cars tagged in the city. They used their vacant house in Hattiesburg to vote, but didn’t tag their vehicles in the city, which allowed them to avoid the school tax for the very district in which Carmen Anderson drew a paycheck.
If that isn’t astounding enough, they even went so far as to clam two homestead tax exemptions. This is illegal, as only one homestead tax discount is allowed per married couple. One homestead was the vacant home in Hattiesburg and another in Jones county where they live. The Anderson’s used the Hattiesburg residence to vote illegaly in the 2013 Hattiesburg Mayor’s race. Both the Jones County and Forrest County tax assessors ultimately revoked the homesteads in both counties after this site published the story. That article can be read here.
Mrs. Anderson even hired a 3rd grade teacher, Sholanda Hill; who had a prior history of drug arrests. The teacher was indicted on money laundering charges in late 2014 for working in a cocaine ring, which was busted with 12 kilos of cocaine. That article from the Hattiesburg American can be read here.
Not only did either of the Andersons lose their jobs with the city, but Mr. Anderson was put up for a promotion at the fire department; one that he wasn’t legally qualified to receive; that according to then city Attorney Charles Lawrence.
The teachers and students in the district are suffering. HPSD award winning debate team can’t travel. Teachers have no supplies. There is no money to fix air conditioners, buy paper, or of afford basic school supplies. The district is an utter mess. Meanwhile, while Rome burns, our administrators are the highest paid in the state.
Below are the HPSD administrator salaries published for the very first time. A follow up article will be published next Monday, detailing specific employees work experience, certifications, etc,; which will clearly show how some of these administrators shouldn’t even be in these positions.
While HPSD goes broke, and our kids and teachers suffer, administration remains a bloated, overpaid, political favor machine of largely unqualified people in key administrative positions.
Click the images below to read the Administrative Salaries