It has just been reported that the Georgia Professional Standards Commission has revoked the licenses of disgraced former Bibb county Superintendent Romain Dallemand and his inept sidekick Tom Tourand. Tourand was the former Technology Director who in reality was about as tech savvy as the former Senator from Alaska Ted Stevens who described the internet as a series of tubes. In other words Tourand was an imbecilic luddite that was chosen simply because Dallemand could control him which is the criteria he used to select most people. Competence and a spine were not qualities Dallemand sought out when selecting potential employees.
I have written numerous articles about Romain Dallemand so I do not plan to list all the reasons why he is so despised. He was a gypsy superintendent far more interested in enriching himself than any pedagogical pursuits and left Bibb county schools around $60 million poorer with nothing to show for it. When he ran out of cheap parlor tricks and distractions and it became clear to even his supporters that he was a fraud he got out of Dodge while the getting was good.
For people unfamiliar with Romain Dallemand, a good primer is There is no Accounting in Macon and my reply to Charles Richardson’s inane attempts to defend Dallemand Part I and Part 2 in July of this year.
According to a report from the Macon Telegraph
“After results of the school system’s latest audit were released months ago, the system conducted its own investigation and forwarded its findings to the PSC and the state Attorney General’s Office. The PSC investigation was based on the audit results as they related to the educator code of ethics.
The audit contained nine allegations, contending that Dallemand had repeatedly violated school board policy while he was superintendent by ordering more than $26 million in technology equipment and services without the required, prior approval of the school board.
The FBI also is investigating possible criminal wrongdoing by Dallemand.
Both men can appeal but it is doubtful either would. They both realize they got caught with their hands in the cookie jar. Tourand has retired and Dallemand is reportedly on the lam in Haiti but seems to have internet access since I often got a visitor on this site from Port Au Prince whenever I published any article with his name tagged. As a narcissist he couldn’t help but read about himself even if it was far from glowing. Neither have a future in education unless they apply at places that lack the internet to read about their misdeeds and without a license working overseas is their best bet.
Interestingly enough there was a separate case that involved sexual harassment by Alisha Allen-Carter. Dallemand was sued and lost a suit in Minnesota for sexual harassment prior to his tenure in Macon. I do not have any more information or details on this lawsuit however.
Although Dallemand has fled, many of his ardent supporters are still very much around. People like Charles Richardson who personally profited by way of his wife being given a very well-paying job. Cliffard Whitby and all the Promise Neighborhood group. Then of course there were the inept Board of Education members who were deaf, dumb, and blind while everyone told them Rome was burning around them. That list includes Susan Middleton, Tommy Barnes, Wanda West, Tom Hudson, and Ella Carter. Both Barnes and Middleton are no longer on the Board of Education but the other three remain and given this vindication I think it would be appropriate if all three resigned.
Will they do the honorable thing and resign? Extremely doubtful. If they had any integrity they would have at least apologized for their lack of oversight long ago but instead chose to follow Charles Richardson’s advice and simply “Move along” with no introspection or reflection on the part they played. One could be forgiven for thinking they were far from ignorant of what Dallemand was doing and continue to be his cheerleading squad given the sheer number of 5-3 votes where at least three board members seemed far wiser and aware of their duties to protect the students, teachers, and maintain some fiscal oversight and responsibility. The BOE5 as they were known were merely rubber stamps.
Wanda West famously said she didn’t drop the ball because she didn’t know there was a ball in the air to drop. That’s your job to know Wanda! She also tried to take credit for selecting Steve Smith as interim superintendent who has by most accounts done a fantastic job at trying to right the ship. In point of fact she had nothing to do with his selection.
It is also important to note that all of the information that eventually led to the ouster of Dallemand was not discovered by authorities or the local news media, it came to light by the efforts of groups of concerned citizens. There were many people involved in this effort but a special thanks goes to WeArePolitics as well as to the Educating Macon Community Group. The Macon Telegraph and TV media finally wrote some articles or did some stories dealing with all the scandals very belatedly and only after those diligent citizens had desperately tried to get the information out to the public and finally decided to publish on their blog. Only then did others take interest because the information was already out there and that genie could not be put back into the bottle.
This latest ruling by the PSC is not only vindication but it gives hope that more investigations should now follow. The district attorney will now have a very difficult time explaining why more investigations are not opened and pursued. The FBI is also conducting their own investigations as well. Dallemand was never the brains of all the “mischief” that occurred, he was simply the face and in some ways a pawn in all probability. Many people that received large chunks of that $51+ million are still in Macon or at least in the country where they can be located. Let’s hope the long arm of the law will schedule a meet and greet with the minions in the not so distant future.
The wheels of justice often turn very slowly but grind exceedingly fine.
This entire saga could have been avoided quite easily. Thankfully now the FBI are involved in what is likely to be criminal prosecutions with those tied to Dallemand and his reported (and unreported) “misappropriations”. As you correctly stated in your article, there are many inside our local government which are desperately attempting to avoid due-scrutiny which is well-deserved. Those such as Tommy (William Thomas) Barnes III – now employed at Mercer, whose deceit, active cover-ups and proactive concealment of public documentation cost Macon-Bibb’s taxpayers undue millions of taxed funds and the quality education of our children for personal financial gain. There is a far-ranging investigation required – beyond Romain Dallemand – it should be investigating local individuals tied to the fiasco of the Macon Promise Neighborhood Initiative and those who profited unreasonably from the massive funds illegally allocated to it.
There’s our Macon-Bibb Mayor’s support of Cliffard Whitby whose ties to those which absolutely facilitated every one of Dallemand’s illegal maneuvers – without question, or reason – such as the “BOE-5” (Tom Hudson, Ella Carter, Susan Middleton, Wanda West & Tommy Barnes). Every component of Macon-Bibb’s government needs also to come under tough scrutiny, as most were involved in some form, or another of either cover-ups, secret meetings or direct complicity in illegal dealings involving substantial public funding of (sometimes illegal) projects. All of this information – well over 5Gb + hard copies was offered to the Macon Telegraph quite some time ago, though in typical MT fashion, they decided to do absolutely nothing with it and allowed Dallemand and his accomplices to carry on with their merry little path to pillaging the local education and welfare system for all it was worth.
Even with last night’s report, there are still further questions raised, which desperately require answers. Where is our local U.S. Attorney’s Office? Why, even after receiving numerous formal complaints containing much more verified information than what the PSC just acted upon, has chosen to do absolutely nothing? The U.S. Attorney’s Office is for all intents and purposes leaving our community languishing in corruption from the very top-on-down, inside our local governance.
I am glad that this four year saga is now eventually coming to a close – it has cost me and others way too much, both personally and financially, just to see justice being served and the revelation of the truth reaching the public domain.
The work that you, Angel Davis, Bill Knowles from wearepolitics.com and so many others in your group was instrumental in the discovery of Dallemand’s fraud being discovered and the people of Bibb owe all of you a great deal of gratitude. Without all your time, treasure, and sweat it is possible if not probable that Dallemand would still be in Macon as the superintendent. Perhaps it is time to dust off that 5GB+ of data you have collected and begin publishing online for all to see in a series of articles. I think due to the sheer magnitude of events, the number of people involved, the different story lines and projects only a series that breaks it all down to more easily digestible parts could explain the complexity and layers of corruption involved.
I just got started reading this but was stopped by the sentence about Ted Stevens being from Arkansas. He was a senator from Alaska who was so stupid that he could be considered only a little smarter than Palin.
Good article. What is really sad is that even after there was no longer any doubt that Dallemand raped the county, his supporter on the BoE, Wanda West (ball-dropper and liar) was re-elected. Even worse, Tom Hudson will probably be re-elected, too.
I knew he was from Alaska but I wrote that article last night fairly late. Now that I am awake and running on all cylinders I will clean it up a bit. It is my understanding from multiple sources that Tourand had very little IT expertise. Certainly no where close to the level required to manage a massive budget or project of the magnitude of a school system so I wanted to choose an analogy of the most famous recent luddite I could think of which was Stevens.
i wish the black community would dedicate as much energy into improving the education of black children in Bibb County as they do defending these corrupt black politicans and so called leaders.