LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A Jefferson County Public School principal is under investigation, accused of letting the baseball coach break the rules and run his side business on school property. Investigators also found hundreds of thousands of dollars spent by the school with little to no oversight.
Pleasure Ridge Park High School Principal David Johnson did not return calls to discuss a state investigation. A story, that began back in 2012 when a JCPS investigation found PRP High School baseball coach Bill Miller was, at times, running his side business, Midsouth Baseball, using campus facilities and equipment.
That's a violation of JCPS policy. The JCPS investigation determined principal Johnson didn't know about what the coach was doing but JCPS wanted the conduct to stop.
Enter the Kentucky General Assembly's Office of Education Accountability. The OEA received a complaint in 2012 that said all this was still going on so it launched its own investigation and found the school's hitting facility was being rented to private groups and used for baseball camps. It also found the money going to a baseball activity account instead Of JCPS which is required by district policy.
Principal Johnson told OEA investigators the same thing he told JCPS, that he didn't know the coach was running his business using school facilities.
But OEA investigators had shipping labels that showed packages addressed to the coach's side business delivered to PRP. The state also found around $290,000 in PRP expenses charged to the district with little or no documentation including some questionable travel expenses by principal Johnson.
JCPS is doing a new audit of the school activity fund use at PRP which is routine. But school district spokesman Ben Jackey that audit should address any issues uncovered by that OEA investigation.
"Basically if something is happening on school property it needs to be student related, bottom line," Jackey said. "That's the case if it is in the school building, outside the school building. We have a duty to be here as employees working for students, and we do not allow businesses to be operating on property, because that would be a conflict for what our mission is."
There's no timetable on when that JCPS audit will be complete. The OEA recommended PRP pay back whatever money the baseball program made using school property to JCPS. The state also wants Principal Johnson to reimburse the school district for travel expenses that shouldn't have been allowed as well as undergo training.