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Pressure builds for board to act on Hoover High report of improprieties

HOOVER (AP) — Hoover school officials are under pressure from the city council president to act on an investigation of improprieties at Hoover High School or resign.

In a letter to the school board, City Council President Gary Ivey said the board must act quickly on any recommendation to punish or clear employees named in the report released Saturday.

“We cannot allow the performance of one of our nationally recognized academic teams or athletic teams overshadow the necessity for decisive action on the part of our Board of Education,” Ivey wrote Tuesday.

Among its findings, the report describes changed grades for football players, preferential treatment of football players and pressure on teachers to make sure football players received certain grades. The report also noted a lack of public accountability in the finances of football camps and broadcasts and that Hoover Coach Rush Propst has been providing income for a second family in the Pell City area. The report also said Propst was given use of a Nissan Titan by Crown Pontiac-Nissan.

Ivey urged board members to direct Superintendent Andy Craig to immediately recommend disciplining some employees and exonerating all the others or to recommend announcing that all the employees are exonerated and no action will be taken.

Ivey said if any board member is “unwilling or unable” to immediately decide to discipline an employee or to determine that an employee should not be disciplined, then that member should simply resign.

Ivey said he wrote the letter after reading in The Birmingham News that school board President Donna Frazier wanted Craig to “dig deeper” to answer issues raised in the report by lawyer Sam Pointer Jr. and his law firm.

School board member A.W. Bolt said he has no problem with the City Council pressuring the board to make a decision, adding he wants a recommendation soon, too.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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