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FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2007
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Tanner High bus driver faces DUI charge

By Holly Hollman
hhollman@decaturdaily.com 340-2445

TANNER — Limestone County school officials will not take action against Danny Bates, a bus driver charged in Lauderdale County for driving under the influence, unless that arrest leads to a conviction.

Superintendent Barry Carroll said that under advice from the Board of Education's attorney, the system will address the issue "if he is convicted, and his license is suspended."

Bates drives the Tanner High School route. School system officials verified Bates was the driver, but Carroll would not confirm or deny.

Arrested last weekend

When The Daily called the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department on Thursday evening for further information on the arrest, an employee said the chief deputy would "discuss that situation" with a reporter Friday morning.

Carroll said the system has never had problems with the bus driver, and the arrest occurred in the bus driver's car on a weekend in another county.

Withholding information

Carroll refused to release how long Bates has worked for the school system, which is public record, according to the state's open records law.

"Although it is not a personnel matter at this point, it may become a personnel matter, and I can't release any additional information," Carroll said.

State law says information such as work history, salary and reprimands of public school employees are public record.

Carroll referred questions to the board's attorney, J.R. Brooks of Huntsville, who said the superintendent cannot verify the name of the bus driver.

Brooks said, however, The Daily can look at public information in any employee's personnel file. The board offices were closed when Brooks called, but he said access to a request for any employee's file would be granted Friday.

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