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Baker County school probe begins

NEWTON -- A Baker County Grand Jury committee interviewed six subpoenaed witnesses Tuesday as the probe into alleged financial irregularities at the Baker County School Board kicked into high gear.

South Georgia Judicial Circuit District Attorney Joe Mulholland conducted the interviews, which began at 9 a.m. and lasted all day.

According to Mulholland, those interviewed included former school superintendent Tommy Rogers; his wife, Evelyna Rogers, who has worked as special education director for the school system; three current Baker County School Board members and one other witness.

"We only interviewed six people, but I think we are off to a good start," Mulholland said. "The committee asked me to subpoena some more documents. When I get them we will look them over and decide where we go from there."

Mulholland and the committee are looking into the board's financial dealings, and appear to be focusing on expenditures under Rogers.

If the committee finds reason to bring charges, Mulholland will have to present that evidence before the full grand jury to gain indictments.

The controversy arose in July when Mulholland, whose circuit includes Baker County, was approached by members of the Baker County Concerned Citizens for Education in regard to expenditures by the school system.

Three of the group's members -- Major Skinner, Mike Tabb and Buster Delucca -- presented evidence to the Grand Jury, which directed Mulholland to look into the matter.

Those presentments were later expunged by Superior Court Judge J. Kevin Chason, effectively ending the first probe before it began.

A week later, the Grand Jury reconvened and put together a new set of presentments, which Chason upheld.

Mulholland then began issuing subpoenas.