By Bethany Anderson
Johnson County Schools’ Transportation Supervisor, Barry Bishop, 57, was back in court Friday, March 29 for his ongoing criminal case regarding the allegations brought forward after a joint investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury.
The investigation led to his indictment of one count of theft over $10,000, followed by Bishop’s arrest on January 3, and arraignment on February 8.
During the investigation, TBI agents developed information that between January 2015 and May 2017, Bishop used his position as the transportation supervisor for the school system to perform skills testing for commercial driver’s license applicants.
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.
Bishop is currently out of jail on a $15,000 bond, while Case 2019CR1 has become an ongoing case with the Johnson County Criminal Court system, spanning several months so far.
The Johnson County School system remains compliant with all state recommendations and is maintaining a “business as usual” approach.
All of Bishop’s duties, caring for the “day-to-day” of busses including supervising bus employees are currently covered by Dr. Stephen Long, while Dr. Herbie Adams is covering Maintenance and Career Technical duties.
According to Dr. Long, “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.”
Judge Lisa Rice heard many criminal cases on Friday, but once Bishop’s turn came it all went pretty quickly. His attorney filed a motion to dismiss, which Judge Rice answered by saying, “I’ll have to respectfully deny that.”
There was then mention that a motion for discovery had already been filled and carried out. Dates were set for the pretrial and the trial. The pretrial motion date is currently set for June 3, and the trial itself is currently scheduled to last for two days on June 25 and 26, 2019.
Judge Rice warned both parties that all pretrial motions must be filed no later than May 30 in preparation for trial. Bishop and his attorney agreed as well as the prosecutor. All involved will no doubt be making their filings and preparing for the upcoming late June trial.