Sunday, December 5, 2010

Ex-Putnam Schools Director Arrested

A man who was once employed as Director of Schools in Putnam County has now been arrested in Campbell County, where he had taken a job after being let go by the school board here.  62-year-old Michael Martin has been charged with falsifying records. Martin was relieved as director of schools in Putnam County four years ago after a majority of the new school board voted to replace him.  He was initially assigned to a teaching position, but the board later agreed to a negotiated settlement of his contract.  Martin then became director of schools in Campbell County, but resigned from that job a couple of months ago as authorities opened an investigation into his handling of a co-worker's credentials and pay.  The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says both Martin and 52-year-old Karen Bundren, who was the Campbell County Schools director of Federal Projects until recently, were arrested on Friday.  They are charged with theft of property over $1,000, two counts of official misconduct, two counts of forgery, two counts of tampering with governmental records and two counts of falsifying education and academic records. Meanwhile, the current director of schools in Putnam County -- Dr. Kathleen Airhart -- has just received a one year extension of her contract after a positive evaluation by the current school board.