Police: Current, past Boone school board members under investigation

Giuseppe Sabella , Staff Writer

West Virginia State Police are investigating Mark Sumpter, a former member of the Boone County Board of Education, and Danny Cantley, a current member, as part of an embezzlement case that led to the arrest of two others earlier this month.

Cantley is listed as a current board member on the Boone County Schools website, along with a criminal complaint filed in Boone County Magistrate Court on March 8.

Sumpter left his position as the board’s president in late October 2016. In a past interview, Sumpter said personal issues and his plans to leave the county led to the resignation.

Cpl. Dean Brinegar, who is investigating the case, confirmed both Sumpter and Cantley are being investigated.

“They received property that was paid for by Boone County Schools,” he alleged.

Brinegar said more information about the ongoing investigation will likely be available in the coming weeks.
Earlier this month, police arrested two employees of the Boone County Schools Transportation Department after they allegedly stole more than $20,000 through fraudulent purchases.

David Jarrell, who served as the transportation director, and Tracy Harvey, who worked as a mechanic, reportedly bought tires, lift kits, mud flaps and a host of other goods for their own use.

Authorities charged Jarrell and Harvey with embezzlement and fraudulent schemes. Before their arraignment, both men told police they made fraudulent purchases for Cantley and Sumpter, who are still under investigation.

After the initial arrests, Superintendent Jeff Huffman said the lost money could have gone toward employee salaries.

When it comes to the public school system’s more than 500 employees, the full-time professionals suffered a $3,800 to $4,000 salary cut in July, and the full-time service employees — including custodians and bus drivers — suffered a $3,650 to $3,850 salary cut.

Huffman, Sumpter and Cantley could not be reached for comment Thursday afternoon.

Reach Giuseppe Sabella at giuseppe.sabella@wvgazettemail.com, 304-348-5189 or @Gsabella on Twitter