Charmella Greer worked for SMDG as long as they had a contract with the Gary Community School Corporation. When the contract was terminated by the State, she scrubbed any reference to SMDG from her social media account
March 16, 2017-Gary Community School Corporation would not have been able to make payroll in March without a $3M loan from the State of Indiana. The Corporation had asked for $14M to finish out the year, but the Distressed Unit Appeals Board (DUAB), responsible for overseeing emergency loans, approved only $3M, saying they want to watch the finances of the troubled school corporation much more closely. After all, the troubled School Corporation is over $100M in debt and already owes the taxpayers of Indiana $30M that will likely never be repaid.
In a school board meeting prior to the DUAB hearing, Board President Rosie Washington tried to ram through a $50,000 per year legal services contract with politically connected Attorney Clorius Lay. It was largely based on this brazen attempt at cronyism that Board members approved one month worth of payroll and a limited amount for other expenses. The Corporation was warned to not spend one cent that was not required and a hearing is scheduled for the end of March where the DUAB will review a request for funding the Corporation through April.
Against this backdrop, Rosie Washington and three other school board members approved a contract to re-hire Pruitt associate Charmella Greer. Greer was re-hired as a public relations specialist and her salary was not disclosed at the time of her hiring. Records maintained by the State of Indiana show that Greer earned $66,887.00 in 2015 working for the School Corporation as a “graphics/desktop publisher.” In 2016, Greer left the School Corporation to work for connected contractor SMDG but earned over $41,000.00 working beside Pruitt for a partial year.
The Gary Community School Corporation gave SMDG nearly $1M in contracts in 2016. The last of those contracts, in the amount of $400,000.00, was cancelled when State regulators stepped in. It appears that SMDG did little or nothing for the money they did receive as the School Corporation has little social media presence and a confusing mix of information on two distinct websites.
Dr. Pruitt did not return calls for comment regarding this story. Members of the DUAB have been made aware of the situation.
You can reach the Distressed Unit Appeals Board here by writing to Courteney Schaafsma at CSchaafsma@dlgf.in.gov
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