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Reed reports ethics violations

School Superintendent Mike Reed has reported himself and four other Hartselle City School employees for possible ethics violations to the Alabama Ethics Commission in the wake of an investigation of the Hartselle High School baseball booster club finances.

Reed said these four employees received payments directly from the baseball booster account, which by law is an ethics violation. School employees cannot receive money directly from a booster club and can only receive salaries or supplements from the school system’s payroll department.

Reed also reported himself for an ethics violation because he didn’t report it within the first 10 days after he was notified of the mistake.

“In investigating this incident, I learned that I was supposed to report this within 10 days after the violation was discovered,” Reed said. “Unfortunately, that window has passed, which could be a violation. I wanted to present the ethics commission with a complete investigation before reporting it, but that’s not the way the law reads.”

Reed said he wrote a letter to the ethics commission Thursday explaining what happened. He didn’t confirm when he learned of the violations, but he said it has been more than 10 days since he learned of the infraction.

In addition to the possible ethics violations, the Alabama High School Athletic Association has fined the school $250 and placed the baseball program on one year of probation for using an ineligible player on its team, according to Principal Jeff Hyche. The school will also have to forfeit the games in which this player participated.

“I’m not sure how many games we will have to forfeit, but I don’t believe it will be that many,” Hyche said. “Most if not all of the games we will have to forfeit are JV games. From what I understand, the player was on the varsity team but did not participate any varsity games.”

AHSAA rules state that a team must forfeit any games in which an ineligible player was used.

Hyche said that no other infractions have been reported at this time.