Union County superintendent, employees won’t be charged in computer inquiry

Mary Ellis, Union County Public Schools superintendent.
Mary Ellis, Union County Public Schools superintendent.

Union County Public Schools Superintendent Mary Ellis and two other employees won’t face charges after a state investigation showed they didn’t wrongly influence or benefit from the school system’s purchase of thousands of Lenovo computers.

At issue were two companies, including a consulting firm named Educatrx, that Ellis, assistant Superintendent Mike Webb and technology director Tony Burrus started with Jason Mooneyham, who was head of public sector sales for Lenovo.

In November, the Union County Sheriff’s Department asked the State Bureau of Investigation to investigate after school board member Kevin Stewart filed a complaint that Ellis and the others may have profited from Lenovo’s sale of 10,000 computers to the school system. Mooneyham left Lenovo shortly after the investigation began.

District Attorney Trey Robison said Friday that SBI investigators found that the three didn’t benefit or profit by using the influence of their positions in the large computer contract.

Robison concluded no laws were broken.

“The SBI investigation was both thorough and comprehensive,” he said. “There is no evidence that any crimes were committed by Dr. Ellis or the other UCPS employees. Accordingly, I consider this matter concluded.”

Late Friday, the Union County school board called a special meeting for Monday that spokeswoman Tahira Stalberte said is related to the investigation that just ended.

Because the closed-session meeting is for a personnel matter Stalberte could not provide any details.