It ain’t easy being Becoats

Hey, you remember that little story from back in August about DPS superintendent Eric Becoats? It went something like this (from the H-S):

The Durham Public Schools Board of Education has formally reprimanded Superintendent Eric Becoats for misusing a DPS school activity bus and driver in June.

Becoats verbally contracted to use the bus and driver June 7 and 8. The driver used the bus to transport Becoats’ friends and family to private events during that weekend, which included a trip to the Streets at Southpoint mall, according to a DPS announcement on Thursday.

Oooh, a formal reprimand! Ouch. Well, if there’s one way to absolutely 100% stop employees from misusing resources, it’s a formal reprimand. And anyway, he probably just made an honest mistake; maybe he didn’t know that the system policy sharply restricted this sort of use?

Emails and other documents indicate that Durham Public Schools Superintendent Eric Becoats knew beforehand that system policy sharply restricted the use of school activity buses of the type he rented in June for family outings.

Um. OK. Well, that doesn’t sound so great. What about test scores? They’re doing well, right? It’s easy to overlook a little minor corruption when somebody’s knocking it out of the park:

Test scores from students in the Durham Public Schools are set to dip, perhaps by 20 to 30 percentage points, Superintendent Eric Becoats told the City Council.

Oh, that’s maybe not great news. But I’m sure that’s due to state-level rejiggering of metrics, not anything under his control.

So, I guess it’s been a rough year for Becoats, but maybe he can turn it around! I mean, now that he’s been reprimanded, and now that his test scores have plummeted, he’ll surely be on his best behavior going forward. You know, get all that paperwork in order – dot those Is, cross those Ts

“There were expenditures in the record for which there was not full documentation or explanation,” Carter said. “The board is seeking clarity on these expenditures. We also will consider developing additional financial controls over credit card use and travel reimbursement.”

She also said she noticed personal items being purchased on the credit card and travel cost that exceeded the state per diem rates…

Records show Becoats spent $20,157.86 on the credit card from July 2012 to June 2013 for out-of-state conferences, dinners and lunches with colleagues, economy-class air travel, hotels, room service, limousines from the airport, meetings, workshop supplies, flowers for recognition of employee achievements and gifts to a host family in Mexico.

Yikes! Well, maybe he just didn’t know he needed prior approval from the school board?

The contract that Superintendent Eric Becoats signed with the Durham Public Schools encourages him to attend appropriate local state and national professional meetings with the prior approval of the chairperson of the school board. But it was unclear Thursday whether such approval was sought or granted in the prescribed manner…

Carter has suspended Becoats’ use of the credit card and recently denied two of the superintendent’s requests for travel.

Well. Um. That doesn’t sound great either! After reprimanding him for those joyrides in DPS buses, I wonder what nasty repercussions Becoats will face now?

Durham Public Schools Superintendent Eric Becoats’ district-issued credit card has been terminated.

OH man, that’s a sick burn. Now he’s been reprimanded AND he’s losing his allowance? You’d better watch out, Eric; next time, maybe they’ll ground you during prom or something.

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