Should Resign Now
|The news from the December Loudon County Grand Jury
was not good. Loudon County Director Of Schools, Edward Headlee and
Loudon County Schools maintenance coordinator, Dave Hemelright
came within one vote of being indicted for reckless endangerment.
The near indictment stems from testimony before the Grand Jury in August
by Loudon resident Joe Webb and members of the state Fire Marshals
Office. 10 of 12 Grand Jurors after hearing the evidence voted for
Even with what has been
described as a full on defense of the two by District Attorney, Russ
Johnson, the Grand Jury still came with in one vote of indicting.
Johnson himself has been
accused of tampering
with the life safety issues at Loudon High School by using his
position as then State Representative, to get the fire marshals office
to prematurely provide the approval that would allow the HVAC program to
move forward. It was obvious from grand jury foreman Mark Carpenter's
written statement that he wasn't entirely comfortable with the way the
case had been handled.
In September, Headlee and Hemelright dodged another bullet when the Loudon County Board Of Education held votes on both men's jobs. Both barely survived the votes to retain their positions.
Both Edward Headlee and Dave Hemelright are fine men. However it would be impossible not to realize that both have lost the confidence of the people they are paid to serve. Both men should realize that it would now be impossible for either of them to perform their duties in any effective manner.
Mr. Headlee is currently set to retire next June. But
it would seem prudent to go ahead and step down now.
While many of the seemingly unending problems facing the Loudon County School System can be laid squarely at the feet of Mr. Headlee and Mr. Hemelright, there are others with the Loudon County Board Of Education who should give serious consideration as to whether their presence on the board is actually an asset or a liability for Loudon County Schools.