September 22, 2016 4:00 PM
Down here in rural Georgia, I spend my days cracking open local governments in an effort to shed light on what’s going on behind closed doors. Most days, people come to me with tips, and today someone came to me with an email chain that could quite possibly change the course of some pending litigation down in McIntosh County.
The McIntosh County Board of Education is amidst a firestorm relating to the removal of Barry Lollis as McIntosh County Academy principal, allegations of hazing by football players in the presence of school employees, and alleged misuse of funds in the Athletic Booster Club account, but Thursday brought to light that not all McIntosh County players are in line with the Board.
Provided to me as part of my real job Thursday morning was an email sent by Board of Education attorney Richy Braun to Superintendent Dr. John Barge and McIntosh County School Board members with regard to the lateral move of Barry Lollis. The decision stemmed from an initial email sent by School Superintendent Dr. John Barge.
Lollis was unexpectedly demoted to an alternative school two weeks ago after serving as the principal of the high school in McIntosh County for just four weeks. Lollis has a history of reforming high schools around the state, including those in Putnam, Chatham, and Oconee counties.
The first email is below:
The following is the response issued by Richy Braun to the Board members and Superintendent Barge, yes THAT superintendent Barge:
School Board member Joe Maulden spoke out following an executive session on Monday night, saying he did not speak with the Board on the Lollis decision and believed it should be reversed. noting Lollis should be returned to his position at McIntosh County Academy.
Lollis has hired legal counsel out of Montgomery County and he formally requested a 940 hearing at the Board of Education meeting on Monday evening.
I have requested the personnel files of former McIntosh principal Barry Lollis, to clarify as to whether there were grounds for demotion, and Head Coach Robby Robinson, who has allegations pending against him in more than one school system, through Georgia Open Records. Those requests are still pending.