Former Bibb County school Superintendent Romain Dallemand wants the state’s educator regulatory agency to set aside its revocation of his license and reopen proceedings in his case.
In a filing with the Professional Standards Commission, Dallemand said he was never served with an initial complaint against him, was never granted a due-process hearing, and that the filing of the complaint “flagrantly violated” the terms of his severance agreement with the school board.
His response to the PSC, which oversees educator ethics, among other duties, was dated Jan. 13.
Dallemand said the PSC decision against him was tainted in part because Ed Aaron, the Bibb school employee who compiled the investigative complaint, did so without the knowledge or consent of the school board.
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Dallemand also said he was never notified of the adverse decision against him and learned of the PSC action only by reading a report in the “Macon County Telegraph.” By then, the 30-day period to appeal had passed, he said, depriving him of any chance to offer a defense.
When the school system sent its report to the PSC, it intentionally failed to include exculpatory documents -- such as the severance agreement -- that “completely absolved (Dallemand) from any and all wrongdoing or unethical conduct as found by the commission.”
The complaint contains “fictive distortions of the record and misstatements of fact,” Dallemand’s response contends, and included “a mountain of rank hearsay in the form of exhibits” that the PSC should not have considered in its deliberations because they were “not certified as to their respective authenticity.”
The PSC was subjected to “fraud ... by those responsible for the filing of the complaint,” he maintained.
Paul Shaw, director of the PSC’s ethics division, said Friday that Dallemand’s response has been forwarded to the state Attorney General’s Office. It’s the first time in his three years as director that someone has tried to appeal an adverse finding after the 30-day window to do so, he said.
“We’ll let (state attorneys) make a decision,” Shaw said. “They’ll handle the case and see what needs to be done.”
In time, “they could refer it back to us.”
Calls to the Attorney General’s Office on Friday afternoon were not immediately returned. Neither were two calls to Dallemand’s Florida home.
In his response, Dallemand said that although accusations in the complaint were sent to state and federal authorities, a decision issued on March 4, 2014, indicated that no law had been violated.
An accompanying letter from the Attorney General’s Office says only that there was nothing “facially evident in the annual financial report which would warrant a criminal investigation.” That letter was not included in documents sent to the PSC, Dallemand said, and “speaks volumes to the disingenuous motives of both the author of the complaint and those in alliance with him.”
Dallemand said it is “a contradiction in terms to contend that there could have been violations of policies and procedures relating to the business of the very same board which acquiesced in and ratified the actions taken by (Dallemand) and then absolved him of any and all wrongdoing” in the severance agreement.
“To adopt such a nonsensical rationale would be both a non-sequitur and a circuitous exercise in turning logic on its head.”
Should the PSC not give him relief, Dallemand said he would “be obliged to take this matter to another arena so that justice may be done.”
Dallemand was Bibb County’s superintendent for about two years before the school board bought out his contract for $350,000 and benefits in early 2013.
Last year, an audit of the school system blasted Dallemand for the way contracts and purchase orders were handled in the awarding of more than $26 million in technology equipment and services. Several of those were awarded without going through the competitive bidding process, the audit said.
After Dallemand left, the system conducted its own investigations and forwarded its findings to the PSC and the Attorney General’s Office. After reviewing allegations against Dallemand, the PSC revoked his license in October as well as that of Tom Tourand, whom Dallemand hired as the school system’s technology director. Tourand is appealing the revocation of his license.
The educator watchdog agency found that Dallemand “failed to follow local policies and state laws pertaining to bidding, contracts and payment for goods and services. The educator authorized staff to execute transactions that violated the law and local Board of Education policies.
“The educator also hired employees in such a manner that the employees could be easily manipulated,” the report said.
The report also said the way some of those purchases were handled suggested possible collusion among Bibb school officials and several vendors they did business with.
The FBI has investigated possible criminal wrongdoing by Dallemand, and state law enforcement authorities also are examining the case.
To contact writer Oby Brown, call 744-4396.