(12/09/2002)
By Bob Weaver

West Virginia education officials are beginning to clean up some "messy deals" as they continue to investigate others, many of which are linked to the state's School Building Authority.

The state school department has thrown out a proposal for school flood insurance drawn up by G. A. McClung, the assistant superintendent who resigned last month after questions surfaced over his involvement in contracts issued after floods struck southern West Virginia.

Superintendent David Stewart scrapped the flood insurance proposal three days after McClung resigned amid state and federal investigations.

It's the second time education officials have canceled a statewide contract because of McClung's involvement.

Secretary of Administration Greg Burton terminated a multi-million-dollar equipment maintenance deal.

Federal and state Investigators are looking into McClung's decision to award more than two million dollars in school equipment contracts to a friend, Phillip "Pork Chop" Booth, after the Charleston Gazette said he charged two to four times the replacement cost.

They are also investigating a flood insurance deal, in which McClung solicited a bid from a company, Proserv Insurance, with ties to buddies including Booth.

McClung, a former Ritchie superintendent, either lied or a "secretary mis-worded" information on his resume to obtain his position.

The state department has also slowed down the issuing of contracts for the development of West Virginia's most expensive consolidated school in Lincoln County. The building is expected to cost $30 million for about 800 students.

The State Superintendent of Schools resigned after he stole over $100,000 from a student loan fund from the Clay County Bank, where he was president.


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