(11/08/2002)
Howard Persinger, president of the West Virginia Board of Education, said the board hopes to find out if the department was "really dumb or really crooked," speaking at a special meeting held Wednesday in Charleston.

State School head David Stewart announced yesterday a contract to Agsten Construction to oversee the construction of a new $30 million school in Lincoln County has been scratched because of the companies alledged connection with Phillip "Pork Chop" Booth.

The U. S. Attorney's office is the third agency looking into a $2.3 million furniture deal made by Assistant State School Superintendent McClung with long-time friend "Pork Chop" Booth. The investigation will likely include looking at an 11 million dollar clean-up contract of flood damaged schools in southern West Virginia given to Agsten.

Charleston newspapers reported the flood furniture was sold at a rate several times higher than could be provided by a state contract. McClung resigned, days after J.D. Morris, the President of the State Board of Education quit after admitting to stealing money from the Clay County Bank, where he was president.

President Persinger said there could be a full explanation for what happened. McClung does not admit to any wrongdoing. "We're taking measures to make sure that if the facts are what they have been reported, that something like this won't happen again."


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