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Humphreys 'outraged' by story

August 19, 1998|By TERRY TALBERT

Washington County School Board member Andrew Humphreys said Tuesday night he was "outraged" by what he called a negatively slanted Aug. 14 story in The Herald-Mail about school board members' expenditures.

The article reported that Humphreys spent more to attend out-of-town meetings and conferences in fiscal year 1998 than all other board members combined. He also was reported to have used one of the board's pool cars on 49 days between January and May.

Humphreys spent $5,144 to attend out-of-town meetings and conferences during the 1998 budget year, school financial records show.

"I'm outraged at the hint that I've done something wrong," Humphreys said. "They portrayed my extensive service in a negative light. To the contrary, there has been no federal, state and local laws or school board policy violated."

Humphreys said taking trips to conferences should be seen as a positive attribute in a board member. He said when he campaigned for a seat on the school board he promised he would attend seminars and forums about education in order to keep on top of issues, and to grow personally as a school board member.

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"To the contrary, this proves that I successfully delivered what I said I would deliver when I campaigned in 1996," he said. "I said I would be the best I could possibly be."

Humphreys said the school board, in its literature, encourages board members to keep informed by participating in educational conventions and meetings. He said because he is self-employed, his time is more flexible than some of the other board members, and allows him more freedom to attend educational events.

"I've attended more meetings. It's reasonable that my expenses would be higher," he said.

As far as his use of a school board car is concerned, Humphreys said that, too, was a positive because it showed his commitment to his job as school board member.

He said he attended school functions or made visits to schools on school board business 84 times during fiscal 1998.

"My personal vehicle situation changed," he said. "It went from two to none, to a loaned one to one. With a family with four kids there are times my personal vehicle is not available. I did not let that deter me."

Humphreys said he should be applauded for doing what he promised the electorate he would do.

"I will stand tall on my record," he said.

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