Graves Pocketed $157,500 from Federal History Teaching Grant via Mid-Central Educational Coop

Add Dr. Joseph Graves of Mitchell to the list of establishment cronies (Melmer, Phelps,…) who made good money off grants flowing through the audit-flagged Mid-Central Educational Cooperative. A review of the MCEC minutes back to June 2011 (the only minutes available online) finds that from June 2011 to July 2014, the Mitchell school superintendent received 63 stipend payments of $2,500, totaling $157,500. MCEC also reimbursed Superintendent Graves for $19,502.69 in supplies, travel, and postage.

Graves received these payments for work on a three-year federal Teaching American History Grant awarded to MCEC in 2010:

The Teaching American History grant program aims to enhance teachers’ understanding of American history through intensive professional development, including study trips to historic sites and mentoring with professional historians and other experts. Projects are required to partner with organizations that have broad knowledge of American history, such as libraries, museums, nonprofit historical or humanities organizations, and higher education institutions [“Education Secretary Duncan Announces $115.3 Million for 124 Grants to Improve Teaching of American History,” U.S. Department of Education, 2010.08.06].

The federal Department of Education gave MCEC $964,871 to help history teachers refine their craft. More than 18% of that money went to Dr. Graves’s administrative overhead.

Graves has been a frequent, vocal supporter of SDGOP establishment policies, even when that has meant arguing against teachers. Apparently in handling the Teaching American History Grant for MCEC, Graves found a way to make sure that even when teachers do extra work he has called for to improve their skills and earn their pay, he could get a juicy cut.

Date Check Number Vendor Account Number Description Amount
06/13/11 139245 GRAVES, JOSEPH 17 2490 000 319 850 TAHG 1 STIPEND 2,500.00
06/13/11 139245 GRAVES, JOSEPH 17 2490 000 319 850 TAHG 2 SUPPLIES 2,371.42
06/13/11 139245 GRAVES, JOSEPH 17 2490 000 319 850 TAHG STIPEND 2,500.00
07/08/11 139448 GRAVES, JOSEPH 17 2490 000 319 850 TAHG 1 STIPEND 2,500.00
07/08/11 139448 GRAVES, JOSEPH 17 2490 000 319 850 TAHG 2 STIPEND 2,500.00
07/08/11 139448 GRAVES, JOSEPH 17 2490 000 419 850 TAHG 2 SUPPLIES 17.56
08/04/11 135783 GRAVES, JOSEPH 17 2490 000 319 850 TAHG 1 STIPEND 2,500.00
08/04/11 135783 GRAVES, JOSEPH 17 2490 000 319 850 TAHG 2 STIPEND 2,500.00
08/04/11 135783 GRAVES, JOSEPH 17 2490 000 419 850 TAHG POSTAGE 60.46
08/04/11 135783 GRAVES, JOSEPH 17 2490 000 419 850 TAHG SUPPLIES 137.74
09/13/11 136011 GRAVES, JOSEPH 17 2490 000 319 850 TAHG 1 STIPEND 2,500.00
09/13/11 136011 GRAVES, JOSEPH 17 2490 000 319 850 TAHG 2 STIPEND 2,500.00
09/13/11 136011 GRAVES, JOSEPH 17 2490 000 334 850 TAHG 1 TRAVEL 837.62
09/13/11 136011 GRAVES, JOSEPH 17 2490 000 419 850 TAHG 2 SUPPLIES 47.84
11/10/11 136447 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 1 STIPEND 2,500.00
11/10/11 136447 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 1 STIPEND 2,500.00
11/10/11 136447 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 2 STIPEND 2,500.00
11/10/11 136447 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 2 STIPEND 2,500.00
11/10/11 136447 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 419 TAHG 2 SUPPLIES 2,425.18
12/12/11 136632 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 1 STIPEND 2,500.00
12/12/11 136632 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 2 STIPEND 2,500.00
12/12/11 136632 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 419 TAHG 2 SUPPLIES 56.61
01/10/12 136945 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 1 STIPEND 2,500.00
01/10/12 136945 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 2 STIPEND 2,500.00
01/10/12 136945 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 419 TAHG 2 SUPPLIES 26.96
01/10/12 136945 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 341 TAHG 2 POSTAGE 118.61
02/08/12 137030 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 1 STIPEND 2,500.00
02/08/12 137030 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 2 STIPEND 2,500.00
02/08/12 137030 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 419 TAHG 2 SUPPLIES 11.45
03/14/12 137206 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 1 STIPEND 2,500.00
03/14/12 137206 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 2 STIPEND 2,500.00
03/14/12 137206 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 419 TAHG 2 SUPPLIES 288.10
04/10/12 137387 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 1 STIPEND 2,500.00
04/10/12 137387 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 2 STIPEND 2,500.00
05/15/12 139662 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 1 STIPEND 2,500.00
05/15/12 139662 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 2 STIPEND 2,500.00
05/15/12 139662 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 334 TAHG 1 TRAVEL 147.00
05/15/12 139662 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 419 TAHG 1 SUPPLIES 9.00
05/15/12 139662 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 419 TAHG 2 SUPPLIES 9.00
05/15/12 139662 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 419 TAHG 2 SUPPLIES 424.90
06/11/12 139870 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 1 STIPEND 2,500.00
06/11/12 139870 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 1 STIPEND 2,500.00
07/10/12 140054 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 1 STIPEND 2,500.00
07/10/12 140054 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 419 TAHG 2 STIPEND 2,500.00
07/10/12 140054 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 334 TAHG 2 TRAVEL 781.30
07/10/12 140054 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 334 TAHG 2 TRAVEL 200.00
08/14/12 140189 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 1 STIPEND 2,500.00
08/14/12 140189 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 2 STIPEND 2,500.00
08/14/12 140189 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 419 TAHG 2 SUPPLIES 44.77
09/10/12 140361 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 1 STIPEND 2,500.00
09/10/12 140361 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 2 STIPEND 2,500.00
09/10/12 140361 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 419 TAHG 2 SUPPLIES 15.97
10/09/12 140560 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 1 STIPEND 2,500.00
10/09/12 140560 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 2 STIPEND 2,500.00
10/09/12 140560 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 341 TAHG 2 POSTAGE 5.15
11/12/12 140774 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 1 STIPEND 2,500.00
11/12/12 140774 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 2 STIPEND 2,500.00
11/12/12 140774 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 419 TAHG 2 SUPPLIES 2,781.62
12/11/12 141012 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 1 STIPEND 2,500.00
12/11/12 141012 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 2 STIPEND 2,500.00
12/11/12 141012 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 419 TAHG 2 SUPPLIES 527.60
02/12/13 141394 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 1 STIPEND 2,500.00
02/12/13 141394 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 2 STIPEND 2,500.00
03/12/13 141613 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 1 STIPEND 2,500.00
03/12/13 141613 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 419 TAHG 1 SUPPLIES 1,314.50
03/12/13 141613 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 2 STIPEND 2,500.00
03/12/13 141613 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 419 TAHG 2 SUPPLIES 3,547.56
04/11/13 141784 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 1 STIPEND 2,500.00
04/11/13 141784 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 2 STIPEND 2,500.00
04/11/13 141784 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 419 TAHG 2 SUPPLIES 13.89
05/09/13 142014 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 1 STIPEND 2,500.00
05/09/13 142014 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 2 STIPEND 2,500.00
05/09/13 142014 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 334 TAHG 2 TRAVEL 432.00
05/09/13 142014 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 419 TAHG 2 SUPPLIES 9.80
06/10/13 142290 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 1 STIPEND 2,500.00
06/10/13 142290 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 419 TAHG 1 SUPPLIES 46.00
06/10/13 142290 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 2 STIPEND 2,500.00
06/10/13 142290 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 419 TAHG 2 SUPPLIES 2,457.59
07/09/13 142490 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 1 STIPEND 2,500.00
07/09/13 142490 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 334 TAHG 1 TRAVEL 133.50
07/09/13 142490 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 2 STIPEND 2,500.00
07/09/13 142490 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 341 TAHG 2 POSTAGE 44.73
08/12/13 142695 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 1 STIPEND 2,500.00
08/12/13 142695 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 2 STIPEND 2,500.00
09/09/13 143109 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 2 STIPEND 2,500.00
10/15/13 143202 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 2 STIPEND 2,500.00
11/13/13 143507 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 2 STIPEND 2,500.00
01/10/14 143785 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 2 STIPEND 2,500.00
01/10/14 143785 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 419 TAHG 2 SUPPLIES 70.12
02/10/14 143928 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 2 STIPEND 2,500.00
03/06/14 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 2 STIPEND 2,500.00
04/11/14 144225 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 2 STIPEND 2,500.00
04/11/14 144225 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 419 TAHG 2 SUPPLIES 69.99
05/08/14 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 2 PAYMENT 2,500.00
06/12/14 144543 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG PAYMENT 2,500.00
07/10/14 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 2 PAYMENT 2,500.00
07/10/14 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 341 TAHG 2 POSTAGE 17.15
07/10/14 GRAVES, JOSEPH 12 2495 000 319 TAHG 2 PAYMENT 2,500.00
total stipend 157,500.00
        total other TAHG 19,502.69
        total TAHG to Graves 177,002.69

xx


52 Responses to Graves Pocketed $157,500 from Federal History Teaching Grant via Mid-Central Educational Coop

  1. Paul Seamans

    I wonder if Dr. Graves had any involvement in teaching history or was he making $5000 a month just administering other history teachers?

  2. This whole thing is just another scheme to move taxpayer money into the pockets of GOP cronies.

  3. Amazing! SD is run by a bunch of crooks and they keep on electing them, and Cory is the only one that exposes them.

    MPR is a watchdog for corruption in MN. It brought down the Catholic sex abuse scandal. Does SDPR ever, ever talk about state govt corruption?

  4. Is Graves not expected to work full time as the Mitchell superintendent?

    And what exactly did Graves do for this money? If he was sending teachers on field trips to the Prehistoric Indian Village, that could have been accomplished without paying Graves $177,000.

  5. What are the thousands and thousands of dollars of ‘supplies’? Who knows……

  6. Sickening, when we all know that the real, good and hardworking SD teachers buy their own supplies for the classrooms.

    Oh, this would be making the news in MN if there was corruption like this there. Students and teachers would be rallying also.

  7. Cory should our state auditor, since SD obviously doesn’t have an honest one.

  8. Eve Fisher

    And the SD GOP gravy train continues. But keep electing everyone with an “R” by their names, because they’re good for… for… for…

  9. I might have to pass this on to the Mitchell Daily Republic

  10. During my first year on the Mitchell School Board I reported on Joe Graves’ unlawful executive session. For that, the South Dakota Newspaper Association awarded me the Eagle Award, the first individual so honored. Rorschach asks if Graves should work full time for the Mitchell School District? I suggest Cory examine and publish Graves’ contract. Did Graves turn down the Harrisburg superintendency because he was getting this extra $30,000 a year? On three different cycles Graves indicated that he wanted to run for the State legislature only to back out when serious challenges came from me, a former State Senator. In addition Graves writes long columns of what many call “garbage” and is published in Mitchell Daily Republic. Cory, does Graves’ present contract call for him to devote his full time to the duties of the Mitchell School Superintendent? Cory, while you are at it why don’t you check on the employment, duties and compensation of another former Mitchell teacher now employed by Mid-Dakota. She is Diane Olson, wife of former State Senator Ed Olson of Mitchell?

  11. Paul Seamans

    Rod Hall, good comment. It actually appears that Graves was receiving two $2500 stipends per month for a yearly base compensation of $60,000 rather than $30,000.

  12. David Newquist

    Is honesty for suckers? A majority of South Dakota voters seem to think so.

    http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2015/09/29/is-honesty-for-suckers?smid=fb-share

  13. It seems everyone but teachers are getting rich off of South Dakota education.

  14. Nice work if you can get it…and you can get, if you R…

  15. Lars Aanning

    Are grants a cash conduit for the privileged political elite?…taxed as income?…

  16. I thought the school board didn’t let him run Rod

  17. Duringhis kelo interview yesterday, Rick Melmersaid that some payments shown on the schedule during 2012 were not receivedbyhim. Perhsps he is nottheonly one.

  18. Eve Fisher

    Or, of course, Mr. Melmer could be lying.

  19. He could. Butgiven the remainder of his kelo interview,admitting those payments ,if they had been made, would not have been additional damage.

  20. Owen:

    Permission for Graves’ running for the legislature was the last item on the agenda. When the board got to that item Graves announced that he was not running. There was no official board action at that time.

  21. I don’t know what years Graves was thinking about running for the legislature, but this contract is probably why he decided not to. He’d have to give up this contract to serve in the legislature.

  22. 1st. I believe Melmer, he has no reason to deny making those claims, he looks bad, if he got caught, he could have walked it back saying I’d have to look back, it was a long time ago, etc. but he was pretty on point saying he was at USD at that time. He doesn’t have to take this interview in the first place.

    My guess with him, is they weren’t keeping the books the greatest and tried to go back and in the process of fixing them, they screwed up even more. If the bank account drafts were released more information could be achieved.

    As for this? Who knows, it could be a similar situation, it could be that he just received this much.

    The problem with many of these grants is the overhead associated with them, and I’ll be honest if someone wanted to pay me that much to consult on a grant, I’d leave Arizona tomorrow (even with my October rent paid, and winter coming) to do so.

    With this situation, as was mentioned I see, similar to NBP, and the whole visa program, is how aren’t our auditors finding this? Why isn’t this being contracted out to local auditors? I’ve talked to a few accountants and they tell me time and time again, if correct audits are being done, you might be able to hide it for a year, someone good for 2, but sooner or later the money either has to be replaced or they will get caught.

  23. I’ll just leave this here is as to why Dr. Graves could not run for legislature.

    Item No. 6 on the contract states that Graves “agrees that in consideration of the payment to him of the compensation and other benefits as herein above specified he will, during the entire term of his contract, devote his entire time, attention, skill and learning to the faithful performance of his duties of superintendent of schools for the district. …”

    I know the foundation of my faith in South Dakota educators as been rocked today.

  24. Actually, I shouldn’t say educators. I amend that to certain administrators.

  25. What others say about South Dakota http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/160667

  26. Rorschach, what makes you think he couldn’t serve in the legislature and still work for the Coop? -It’s not like they had any rules about conflict of interest. Looks like a lot of folks will be blaming the dead guy soon.

  27. Donald Pay

    Graves was getting $5,000 per month for a part time job. The checks are written out usually as two $2,500 checks per month and listed as “stipend.” Why would they do it this way? Was there some limit on the size of checks they could write? If they stayed below a certain figure would there be no red flag raised.

    For most people in South Dakota, that $5,000 is more than they make for a full time job. That’s a lot of money for a part time job. I’d like to see any documentation of what he did for that money. Is there any work product he can produce?

  28. c and n Thornton

    Absolutely disgraceful

  29. Donald, $5,000 is more than double what I made per month as a full-time English teacher for the Mitchell School District. I resigned from my position at the end of this last school year. This story has my blood boiling.

  30. Eric very accurately stated what Item # 6 on the contract said. That item and what several board members thought about it may have had a profound effect on Graves’ running or not. However, its being listed as an agenda item seemed to require Board action. To save Joe Graves a huge embarrassment a majority of the board may have told Graves how they would vote. That, would have been an illegal conversation. In any event, the Board did not vote (publically) on that agenda item!

    The Daily Republic took an unusual interest in the contracts of the Huron School District’s two superintendents. Perhaps The Daily Republic should take a good look at Mitchell Supt. Graves’ contract. Perhaps if these payments were not allowed by Graves’ contract, some $157,000 should be returned to the public. That seems to be the amount in question at Huron with two superintendents.

  31. George Stainbrook

    Well good luck changing anything in South Dakota. The state government is ranked #1 in the nation for corruption. Obviously a lot of people enjoy it that way. Look who they sent to the Senate last year. Another lying crook, Mike Rounds. The Democrats are no different. People get away with what people let them get away with and the people of South Dakota don’t and won’t do squat about it.

  32. George Stainbrook

    And BTW. Don’t expect the Daily Republic to do anything to rock their boat They are just trying to survive. You know how it is. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Everything in Mitchell is like that.

  33. Has Graves been taking money from all of the Grants written for the Mitchell School District?
    Is that even legal? Schools have to publish salaries of their Superintendents. I assume that includes everything he is pain, including any parts of grants.. Did they publish that? Is he getting paid for other grants that he does as part of his job?

    Is it true that he hired his Daughter and Son-In-Law too? One at MTI and the other for DDN, which he is on the Board of.

    I heard that he even hires teachers and calls them aides to avoid paying SD Retirement System. The teachers are paid more than double what true “aides” are paid. Isn’t that illegal too?

  34. Graves writes for the Daily Republic do you really think they will cover this with as much gusto as they covered the Huron Superintendent’s contracts? Perhaps the Huron media ought dig and dig into Graves in the spirit of “journalistic duty” and “transparency” as the Republic used those mantras often in their coverage of Hurons superintendent’s salaries. What’s more sickening is in his bid for Pierre, Graves has been one of the lone Adminiatrators to argue SD teachers are paid well enough and he has continually raped his own teachers of every worthwhile benefit outside of their paychecks they used to have. He loves to be the smartest guy in the room. Read his articles in the daily Republic. When the average media consumer reads at the eighth grade level, he writes his pieces as if the Harvard Law Review is his audience and the Daily Republic is more than willing to allow his pontifications.

  35. Craig Guymon

    Teaching American History Grant Eligible Recipient: Local Education Agency (LEA).

    August 6, 2010 U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the award of $115.3 million to 124 school districts to improve the quality of teaching American history in our nation’s schools. Following is a list of grantees by state. Included are the grant recipients, contacts and grant award amount for the first year of the grant … SD — PLATTE — Mid Central Educational Cooperative, Joseph Graves, joseph.graves@k12.sd.us, $964,871. In 2009-10, was Supt Joe Graves moonlighting as a consultant preparing the application for a US Department of Education “Teaching American History Grant” working with MCEC Main St Platte, SD 57369?

    From June 2011 to July 2014, the Mitchell School District 17-2 superintendent received 63 stipend payments of $2,500, totaling $157,500. MCEC also reimbursed $19,502.69 to Supt Joe Graves for supplies, travel, and postage. From June 2011 to July 2014, was Supt Joe Graves moonlighting as a consultant working on a 3-year “Teaching American History Grant” through MCEC Main St Platte, SD 57369?

    Based on the above facts, did Supt Joe Graves repeatedly and materially breach the contractual terms and conditions set forth in his employment agreement with Mitchell School District 17-2 which states, “… agrees that in consideration of the payment to him of the compensation and other benefits as herein above specified he will, during the entire term of his contract, devote his entire time, attention, skill and learning to the faithful performance of his duties of superintendent of schools for the district.”

    If so, then time to show Supt Joe to go!

    Badger, Out!

  36. Can you state your sources? If you can’t state your sources than this can be plagiarism or slander? Why did you not try to get a comment from DR. graves himself?

  37. Jaycie, read more carefully. I cited both the MCEC minutes since June 2011 and the 2010 Department of Education announcement of the grant. Is that text not coming up on your screen?

    This post and nothing else I write is plagiarism.

    This post is not slander, because it is not in oral form. It is not libel, because the statements are not false.

    Dr. Graves is as free to offer his comment here as anyone else. I have reported accurately the content of public documents and offered my observation of the meaning of that content. And now I open the floor for everyone else’s comment.

  38. Eric, you do raise an interesting contractual point: how can Graves have “devote[d] his entire time, attention, skill and learning to the faithful performance of his duties of superintendent of schools for the district” when he was doing over $50K of work per year from June 2011 to July 2014 for MCEC?

  39. Hmmm. Graves is not the only supt. To be lining his pockets, though. Or I’d bet good money on that. Lance Witte from Wessington Springs should be looked at too. He has his own consulting firm. That being said, not only is he the super for Wessington Springs, he also is the super for Lower Brule.

    Fishy….

  40. I have thought the exact same thing as Ck. and Witte’s background is no clean slate. Among them I wonder about is Brian Wagner–involved in Aiii and OSEC leadership and only referred to on the MidCentral fiscal information as BW in recent years. Oh, and he is also now actively involved in a Lower Brule educational contract (Lance Witte-acting CEO) that was put into place under Michael Jandreau–who also left this world with suspicions about his honesty as Tribal Chairman.

    Thank you CAheidelberger! Keep digging.

  41. This makes me sick!!!! Mitchell school district classified staff gets paid poverty levels and Teachers the bare minnimum, which we have to walk on pins and needles to not rock the boat to get. Dr. Graves should immediatly step down and if he doesn’t then the citizens of Mitchell should demand he be removed!! As a school employee I am livid about this, Dr. Graves throws are that he is a man of faith and he can add crook to that too. I have seen many great Teacher’s leave because of their work over load and pay while Dr. Graves thinks they are a dime a dozen. Time to stand up Mitchell lets get rid of this lier and hypoctite!!!!!!

  42. Mitch,
    Check into the status of Hallie Tate and her work with the Mitchell School District this year>

  43. Mr Hall and Mr Guymon – let’s be fair here, you guys have had it in for Graves from the beginning. I’m not defending him, he’s more than capable of that himself. But, your motives pertaining to Dr Graves have been clear from day one. Including Mr Guymon’s voting irregularity. Full disclosure please.

  44. All the more reason for less dollars in Government hands.

  45. Its always a topic of getting the money out of politics, but what about getting the money out of government? When government gets in the business of handing out big money when doesn’t fraud & abuse boil up? Its down right disgusting. Is Dr. Graves being a good steward of our taxpayer funds? Doesn’t seem that way, nor are many who were involved in this sham. We constantly hear all the time that there is no money for roads & education but we can give 150K to a guy to administer an inservice program? How he finds the time is another thing.

    Thanks to Corey for digging into this.

  46. Thanks Jackie.

    Eric stated above:

    Item No. 6 on the contract states that Graves “agrees that in consideration of the payment to him of the compensation and other benefits as herein above specified he will, during the entire term of his contract, devote his entire time, attention, skill and learning to the faithful performance of his duties of superintendent of schools for the district. …”

    Graves didn’t address that issue with his staff or with the Mitchell Daily Republic. Is there no journalist asking any questions? If that provision is indeed in Graves’s contract then he has violated his contract by taking a side job and earning substantial income in that side job for years. That’s an offense warranting termination.

  47. If Graves spent $157,000 of his “entire time, attention, skill and learning” working outside of “the faithful performance of his duties as superintendent of schools for the [Mitchell] district”, then he ought to reimburse the Mitchell School District $157,000 plus interest as they had contracted for his exclusive services and he deprived them of that amount.

  48. The school board owes it to taxpayers to sue Graves if he will not willingly reimburse the above amount.

  49. Answers to Mitch.
    These charges are serious enough that the Davison County States Attorney should immediately take custody of all records concerning these charges. If there is a grain of truth to the allegations the States Attorney should call in the South Dakota Attorney General.

    Aides vs teachers.
    I was told by a Mitchell teacher (she told me because she knew I was willing to speak). A Mitchell teacher took SDRS Retirement and then was hired as an aide. Her duties as an aide were such that she would need a valid teaching certificate. This makes her a teacher, period!

    Why?
    The retire – rehire policy was changed because it was costing the SDRS more than $6 million extra a year. If this retired Mitchell teacher was hired by Supt. Graves as an aide there would be no deduction for South Dakota Retirement. Mitchell and a very few other districts do not include classified workers in SDRS. So if this aide (teacher) is paid $50,000 this year the Mitchell School District saves $3,000 contribution to SDRS. The aide (teacher) also saves $3,000 a year. $50,000 x 6%. The retirement law states that all public teachers are included in SDRS. What are the duties and responsibilities of this Mitchell aide? Is a valid teaching certificate required and on file in the Mitchell District?

    I was a lead sponsor of the Bill creating SDRS.

    It appears that Mitchell Supt. Joe Graves and the Mitchell School Board are in clear violation of the South Dakota law. They have taken an oath! The time is now for the facts be made public. The South Dakota Attorney General also took an oath! It is time for the Attorney General to protect SDRS and the public.

  50. Follow the money trail back up the line. What/where is the source of the dollars in this alleged abuse coming from? Who originally received these dollars? Are there multiple other secondary recipients from the source? Who disburses these dollars and under who’s direction? How does the source monitor correct disbursement on an ongoing basis since that safeguard of our tax dollars should exist as a condition of receiving those dollars…not just when something goes wrong?
    MCEC is not the only secondary recipient of these type of funds. Perhaps the oversight belongs further up the line than a local ESA…and perhaps the local ESA just followed directions….as a college professor of mine told me a lifetime ago….Scrutinize….lest ye be screwt.

  51. So….agree with Rod Hall on all of his comments pertaining to this unfaithful situation with Joe Graves. This needs to be invested from top to bottom, and I bet there will be more involved in this dishonest matter with Mid Central and all the grants that have been issued !!!