Cobb grand jury opens investigation into school board purchases
The Cobb County Board of Education finds itself in the news yet again and this time it’s for a matter that will be reviewed by a Cobb grand jury. According to an attorney within the Cobb District Attorney’s Office, an investigation has been opened into purchasing decisions made by the board.
With the pandemic in full swing, the school district administration in late 2020 recommended the purchase of ultraviolet sanitizing lights and “aqueous ozone” hand-sanitizing stations in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The school board approved the $12 million purchase that December.
The contract with ProTek Life, the manufacturer of the ultraviolet lights, was canceled in March 2021 by the district, citing a malfunction at one of the schools in which they had been installed. Shortly thereafter, the district attorney’s office said it was opening an “initial inquiry” into the school district’s business practices. District spokeswoman Nan Kiel said in an emailed statement, “Grand jury proceedings are secret, and we are not privy to them. We respect the privacy and sanctity of the grand jury process and are mindful that tampering with that process from within or without can be considered a crime. At all times and as communicated to the District Attorney’s office, Cobb County School District stands ready to provide any information they request and cooperate with any process.”