By Bethany Anderson
While the court case of Johnson County Schools’ Transportation Supervisor, Barry Bishop, is still pending, the school system is working hard to maintain a “business as usual” approach.
A joint investigation by Special Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury had previously led to Bishop’s indictment.
In response to the comptroller’s report, and to make sure its policies comply with the state recommendations, Johnson County Schools Director Mischelle Simcox said, “Johnson County School System will be updating our school board policy 3.301 (Use of Equipment and Supplies) to the recommendations found in our finding.”
However, no district policies are currently in place to handle this specific type of situation, which means that the duties of the job of Transportation Supervisor are currently being split and covered by Dr. Stephen Long (Supervisor of 7-12, Curriculum & Instruction) and Dr. Herbie Adams (CTE Supervisor).
“I am covering the day-to-day of busses including supervising bus employees, and Adams is covering Maintenance & Career Technical duties,” long said.
Due to the active nature of the open court case against Bishop and the court requirements for privacy and silence regarding the case, Johnson County School officials were unable to comment on any specifics about the case, any plans for Bishop’s replacement, or even the details of the job of Transportation Supervisor.
When asked, Long simply said, “We cannot speak about any plans for a replacement or any other job details because it is all a part of the court case and open investigation.”
He went on to make assurances that, “No part of the job is being overlooked and all is being handled appropriately.”
TBI reported that Bishop, 57, had been charged with theft over $10,000. The investigation revealed that Bishop collected nearly $50,000 in fees associated with the testing but failed to give the funds to the Johnson County Trustee.
During the investigation, TBI agents developed information that between January 2015 and May 2017, Bishop used his position as the
for the school system to perform skills testing for commercial driver’s license applicants.
The Johnson County Grand Jury returned an indictment charging Bishop with one count of theft over $10,000. Bishop was arrested and booked into the Johnson County Jail on a $15,000 bond.
According to the comptroller—based on interviews—employees performed maintenance on their vehicles after normal working hours with parts and supplies purportedly purchased with their personal funds.
Some former and current department employees admitted using department-owned equipment and tools for personal use, the report said. But, school department employees informed the comptroller that management allowed them to use school department vehicles, machinery, and tools for personal use, the report said.
For more information about Johnson County Schools, please visit www.jocoed.net.