City Schools of Decatur won’t release report about investigation of former superintendentCity Schools of Decatur Superintendent David Dude. Image obtained from City Schools of Decatur
This story has been updated.
Decatur, GA — The City Schools of Decatur Board of Education says it will not be releasing a report summarizing its investigation into former superintendent David Dude.
A report does not exist because the School Board decided against asking the investigator to write one.
The School Board says the investigator determined Dude did nothing illegal, but did not provide any additional information.
The independent investigation came after a series of investigative stories by Decaturish.com into Dude’s use of vacation time and his ability to cash out his unused vacation days. Dude ultimately left the district on April 27.
Decaturish has requested all records pertaining to the investigation, including notes compiled by the investigators and any communications between the investigators and CSD.
The School Board said the independent investigation found no evidence of illegal activity by Dude.
“The City Schools of Decatur Board of Education has concluded the investigation into Dr. Dude’s use of vacation time under his contract,” the School District said in a statement. “The board met with the Investigators who gave the board an oral report. There was no finding that any illegal activity occurred. In light of these findings, as well as Dr. Dude’s and the board’s mutual and amicable separation in April 2021, the board does not believe that obtaining a written report is necessary or that the expense is justified at this point.
“This investigation has nonetheless facilitated the board’s review and reevaluation of various district policies and practices and will improve our future operations to address the many challenges and opportunities we have to serve the families and children of Decatur.”
Many parents and The Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights and the City Schools of Decatur Black Parent Alliance have called for the results of the investigation to be made public.
The Decatur School Board at its May 11 meeting hired interim superintendent Dr. Maggie Fehrman for one year.
It’s possible more details of what the School Board uncovered could be revealed in ongoing lawsuits against the district.
Before he left, Dude had been under fire for weeks over allegations that he took more vacation than he was allowed under his contract. The claims were first raised in the lawsuit filed by the district’s former human resources director. Public records show that since he became superintendent in 2015, Dude received $100,000 in additional compensation for cashing out the vacation days he said he didn’t use.
That lawsuit is one of four federal lawsuits currently pending against the district, and Dude is named as a defendant in three of them.
Subsequent reporting by Decaturish revealed evidence to support the claims made in the lawsuit filed by the former human resources director and also revealed that Dude’s most recent contract renewal made it harder and more expensive for the School Board to fire him. The board rescinded that contract and had planned to renegotiate it before deciding to part ways with Dude.
Here are Decaturish.com’s previous stories about this topic: