Huntsville City Schools CFO resigns

The Superintendent asked the board of education to accept the resignation.

Posted: Dec 20, 2018 5:32 PM
Updated: Feb 21, 2020 10:53 AM

The Chief Financial Officer of Huntsville City Schools, Bob Hagood, is out of a job after a 4-1 vote by the board of education to accept his resignation. This comes a month after he gave a report to the board showing they still have a roughly $2 million deficit in their state required one month fund balance of $18 million.

The resignation caused some heated back and forth between several board members during the meeting where Hagood's seat was empty the entire time.

In his absence, board member Elisa Ferrell gave some background for why he resigned. She said he made $5.5 million worth of mistakes during his tenure as CFO.  That included the clerical error that led to the now $2 million deficit in the one month fund.

Board member Michelle Watkins came to his defense. She said the financial troubles of the district started before he became CFO. She pointed to over $100 million in contracts given out by the district to outside companies that she claimed were bad, "White collar crime. Somebody should be in jail right now, because this was at the cost of our children's education," said Watkins.

That did not stop Watkins from voting to approve Hagood's resignation.

Superintendent Christie Finley would not get into specifics about why he resigned, "Right now my focus is on looking at our finances. Making sure we protect the classroom," said Finley.

The district continues to meet with Alabama Board of Education staff weekly to fix the deficit in the one month fund. One of the options they're looking at is staffing levels. Their first choice would be to not fill positions people are vacating by retiring, "We're not just going to be slashing for the sake of trying to get down to a certain number. We have to make decisions that are strategic and are best for students," said Finley.

The resignation agreement approved Thursday by the board, which is signed by the Hagood, has a clause saying he cannot sue the district.

The Superintendent said she will appoint an interim CFO at the next work session for the board of education on January 3rd, 2019. They will then post the job to find a permanent replacement.

This article was updated to correct the value of the posting error made under Bob Hagood. An earlier version of this article stated the mistake was worth $50 million.

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