Knox County security chief allegations revealed

Knox County security chief allegations revealed


6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A review of former Knox County Schools Security Chief Steve Griffin revealed he did private consulting work for pay and attempted to get his son-in-law a job with a school contractor.

The allegations, released Monday evening, were compiled by Ruth Ellis, an outside attorney hired by the school system to investigate Griffin and his relationship with Professional Security Consultants Designs President Mike Walker.

PSCD held a security contract with the schools system from 2006 to 2011. 

An independent audit of security systems for Hardin Valley Academy and Powell Middle School in 2011 found multiple deficiencies in the security system.

The investigation concluded that Walker and Griffin had a long-standing personal relationship.

 The Ellis report revealed:

  • January 2007- Griffin conducts six hours of consulting work for PSCD and is paid $270. At the time, PSCD was a contractor for Knox County schools.
  • January 2008- Griffin violated the no-contact provision of the procurement process by sending an email question about bid specifications to Walker, who was a potential bidder for video surveillance systems.
  • March 24, 2008- Griffin emailed Walker a copy of his son-in-law's resume to Walker in an effort to gain employment.  Griffin's son was eventually employed by PSCD for 10 months, according to Walker.  The school board had already approved the firm's contract, but there were still four days before the official award.
  • August 18 2011- Griffin forwarded an email message to Walker which included the report by Stansell Electric. Griffin replied to a later email encouraging to conceal that he had sent the information to them.

During Monday's work session, McIntyre announced he issued a written letter of reprimand for Griffin plus 15 days of paid suspension will be enacted due to allegations made in investigation.

"I think it's important that we address inappropriate and unprofessional behavior with appropriate consequences and with appropriate discipline, and that's exactly what we're doing in this case," said Dr. Jim McIntyre, Knox County Schools superintendent.

Griffin, who was placed on paid administrative leave during the investigation, announced his retirement in late March effective May 1.

McIntyre says there are no allegations of criminal activity, but he will forward the allegations to the District Attorney General.

Thirty-one people were interviewed during for the investigation.

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