Indian Land investigation ends with no charges filed

INDIAN LAND -- State investigators have closed a second investigation into allegations that former Indian Land High School employees misused student government funds and were paid for days they did not work. It appears no laws were broken, investigators say.

Former Indian Land High School secretary Donna McClennen alleged in 2002 that $2,100 from a student government account was used to make repairs and add a deck to another employee's trailer. She also alleges that the same employee and another employee, who has retired since, were paid for more than 200 days that they did not work.

McClennen took her concerns to the State Law Enforcement Division in 2004 after she felt the district didn't look into why the funds were taken from the student government account even after the paid absences continued.

In June 2005, SLED reviewed the case and determined that no criminal charges would be filed. The case was closed. But two years later, McClennen requested a second review of the case to determine whether the $2,100 was returned to the student government account and if the paid absences by the employees had been addressed by the district.

In a letter to McClennon, solicitor Douglas Barfield stated that although he could confirm that money was taken from a student government account and used to repair an employee's trailer, it was not a violation of state law. School officials said in 2005 that the money was withdrawn properly and used for a student-sponsored community service project.

Barfield also said the $2,100 was repaid to the district.

The two employees "likely received compensation for days they did not work," Barfield stated in a letter to McClennen. "However, in a court of law, neither would be required to prove anything. The burden of proof would be upon the state to prove allegations of violations of our law beyond a reasonable doubt. I conclude I could not meet that burden."

Barfield recommended that SLED close the file, concluding the investigation.