By Jacqueline Brown
Killeen Daily Herald
LAMPASAS – Former superintendent Carlton Tucker and Trustee Ron Farr face off in round two of an ongoing saga Saturday; the controversy has generated a record-breaking turnout in the Lampasas Independent School District Board of Trustees election.
Farr was one of five trustees who voted to place Tucker on paid administrative leave last year, which later turned into a separation agreement between Tucker and the trustees.
Tucker is working as the Manor High School principal and hopes to become a part of the board that paid $20,000 to see him go.
"The board and Mr. Tucker wish to acknowledge their mutual belief that the separation agreement is in their respective best interests and in the best interests of the district," read board President Jamie Briggs from the separation agreement in June. "The board wishes to acknowledge Mr. Tucker's service to the district and to extend its best wishes to Mr. Tucker at his new job and in all his future professional endeavors."
Although there were several rumors about the source of the controversy, the reasoning behind the separation was sealed in the agreement. However, LISD parent Christie Cofield has recently come forward with information that suggests Tucker inappropriately used his power as superintendent.
"How would you like it if your boss asked you to come to his house to repair it and/or work in his yard?" Cofield asked. "That is apparently what more than one Lampasas ISD employee had to deal with when Carlton Tucker was superintendent."
Cofield referred to a memo written by an LISD administrator to the district's legal counsel that said Tucker asked an employee and students from vocational classes to do work in his home and then deposited money into the school activities account.
"Many people in this community have utilized the construction and building trade groups from Lampasas High School over the years, including another former superintendent," said Mike Bradle, Tucker's campaign treasurer. "It provides actual opportunities for the students to gain good hands-on experience."
Bradle said Tucker was shopping locally and supporting the high school building trades program by giving the students an opportunity to gain experience.
Tucker said when he went to Lampasas ISD, it was his task to provide the best education he could for the students at the least cost to the taxpayers.
"I have always tried to pay my way and benefit others," he said. "I will continue to do so for the rest of my life."
More than 1,000 voters have turned out to vote in the board of trustees election so far, and Director of Human Resources Benjie Tischler said the number is a record for early voting.
Residents in LISD also have the opportunity to choose between self-employed builder Andrew Irvin and retired teacher Becky Klose Isom for Place 2 on the school board and incumbent Max Keele, pastor Dennis Scroggins and defense contractor Clay Harrington for Place 3.
Voters can cast their ballots from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday at the respective polling locations.
Contact Jacqueline Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org