Information from WYSH Radio
Following up on a story WYSH broke last week, Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank said she has asked the state Comptroller’s Office to look into whether or not any rules have been broken regarding School Board member Dail Cantrell’s ownership of a recycling company that has done business with the county government on an informal basis in the past.
Cantrell is a 25 percent owner of Scrap Metal Solutions in Clinton, and the company was slated to receive scrap metal generated as part of the school system’s energy efficiency project. After Cantrell divulged his ownership stake in the company, Scrap Metal Solutions was removed from the contract under consideration, and attention shifted to a verbal agreement between the company and the county’s Solid Waste Department under which SMS would collect scrap metal from the county’s convenience centers and take it to a recycling facility. That agreement has been suspended until the direct or indirect nature of Cantrell’s ownership has been examined by the county law director.
Both the School Board’s attorney Sal Varsalona and County Purchasing Agent Pamela Cotham have said that even if he were to abstain from voting on contracts pertaining to Scrap Metal Solutions, the county and the schools cannot do business with the company. We will continue to follow this story for you.
Here’s the earlier WYSH story from last week:
Conflict of interest on the AC BOE?
WYSH has learned that Anderson County officials are looking into whether a school board member may be profiting illegally from doing business with the county government.
During a recent school board meeting, a purchase order associated with the school’s new energy contract was considered that included a clause that gave all scrap metal generated during the project to Scrap Metal Solutions, a Clinton-based recycling company. That clause was dropped after it was discovered that board member and local attorney Dail Cantrell is a minority owner in the company and had not completed the necessary paperwork with the state to do business with the county as an elected official.
As a result, that led to the school board removing that clause from the purchase order. That raised other questions, though, as Scrap Metal Solutions has done business with the county in the past—albeit on a less formalized level.
The County Purchasing Department said that while there are no signed, executed contracts between the county and the company, there was apparently a verbal agreement the company and the Solid Waste Department to handle and process metal collected at the county’s convenience center. That agreement was temporarily suspended as soon as the Purchasing Department and the county mayor heard about the potential controversy while the law director’s office investigates the matter further.
We will continue to follow this story for you as developments warrant.