ATLANTA — The Georgia Professional Standards Commission will decide next month whether to investigate former Alcovy High School principal LaQuanda Carpenter on allegations of purchasing alcohol while on a school trip and misusing school funds.
Jeff Meadors, who is a member of the Newton County Board of Education, filed a complaint with the PSC last month as a citizen.
“I filed this in my capacity as a defendant per litigation discovery,” he said. In October, Carpenter withdrew a pending defamation lawsuit against Meadors that alleged that he commented about her or told others information about her to post on the Newton Citizen website.
The complaint alleges that she breached a code of ethics for educators by being at a school-related activity with students while under the influence of, possessing or consuming alcohol. He said that sworn testimony obtained during discovery of the suit showed consumption and purchase of alcohol by Carpenter on a band trip to Florida in 2010.
In June, after the issue was brought to the attention of Newton County School System Superintendent Gary Mathews, a school system investigation was conducted. Mathews reported that the evidence did not call for any disciplinary action.
Meadors said in the complaint that Mathews investigated another meal other than the one in the complaint.
The complaint to the PSC also alleges that Carpenter misused public or school funds in regard to missing club funds at the school.
Mathews also addressed the missing funds issue in June, saying that school officials should have kept better records, and no evidence suggested that the funds were misused.
John Grant, chief investigator for the PSC, acknowledged that his office has received the complaint, and it will be discussed during the commission’s next meeting on March 14.
He said the commission will review it and determine if they will investigate the matter further. They can make a decision for the school system to investigate the matter, that the PSC will investigate the matter or that there is no probable cause for any investigation.
Carpenter’s last day at NCSS was Feb. 1, after previously being out on maternity leave since November.