Comptroller findings: misconduct by former CHS principal

Tennessee Comptroller Justin P. Wilson released his findings this morning on the investigation into possible official misconduct and other charges lodged against former Claiborne High School principal T.J. Sewell.

According to the findings, Sewell improperly used school maintenance employees for private purposes. On one occasion, the report said an employee was instructed by the former principal to drive his personal truck to Middlesboro for repairs. The report states that the employee left with the truck during lunch and waited several hours at the dealership while the repairs were being made.

On three separate occasions, a maintenance employee was instructed by Sewell to haul his personal cattle to the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

Another employee was instructed to go to the former principal’s farm to burn brush, during normal working hours. The employee worked two hours before stopping because of rain, the report states.

Sewell also made use of the school system’s tax exempt status to purchase merchandise from vendors.

Wilson also found that the former principal used questionable practices when renting out the school multi-purpose room to outside groups.

One of the state comptroller’s findings had to do with the use of Sewell’s private vehicles and equipment, for school purposes, without written permission from the director of schools.

Deficiencies were found in the operation of the school coffee shop as well.

The full story will appear in the Dec. 19 edition of the Claiborne Progress and on our website.