12/20/09 — School district facilities chief on paid leave

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School district facilities chief on paid leave

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on December 20, 2009 1:50 AM

Longtime Wayne County Public Schools employee Sprunt Hill has been placed on paid leave, school officials said Saturday.

"Assistant Superintendent of Auxiliary Services Sprunt Hill was placed on administrative leave with pay, effective Dec. 18, 2009," school spokeswoman Olivia Pierce said.

A reason for the action was not given, nor was any timetable for Hill's return or if he would be released from employment.

"This was a personnel matter and we cannot make any further comment at this time," Mrs. Pierce said.

The move comes amidst an ongoing investigation involving the facilities office by the State Bureau of Investigation, Wayne County Sheriff Carey Winders said.

"To my knowledge there is an ongoing investigation. No charges have been filed," Winders said.

He said he could not elaborate on the case, directing further questions to the SBI.

Mrs. Pierce, the school system's executive director of community relations, media and technology, would not comment on the investigation, saying that any confirmation would have to come from law enforcement officials. She also refused to comment on whether or not Friday's actions were related to the investigation or about whether or not the school system was conducting its own internal investigation.

School Superintendent Dr. Steve Taylor refused to comment on the matter.

Calls to Hill and the State Bureau of Investigation were not returned by press time.

Mrs. Pierce said Hill has been in education for nearly 30 years, but was not sure exactly how many of those he had spent in Wayne County Public Schools.

As assistant superintendent for auxiliary services, Hill oversaw the day-to-day school operations, such as custodial work, maintenance, technology support and transportation. Hill also was heavily involved in helping to create the school system's facility plan and in overseeing the construction and renovation of the schools' facilities.

Currently, work is nearing completion at Brogden Primary, Greenwood Middle and Mount Olive Middle schools, while projects at Eastern Wayne Middle and Norwayne Middle schools are poised to begin.

"Dr. Taylor will divide up the duties among staff members," Mrs. Pierce said. "We will move forward with facilities."