TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - The Vigo County School Corporation may consider legal action against former employees involved in a kickback scheme.
According to a meeting agenda from the Vigo County School Corporation News 10 received late Thursday afternoon, school corporation legal counsel, Jonathan Mayes has recommended the school corporation seek legal recourse. It states that recourse includes, but is not limited to "Filing a civil lawsuit against Frank Shahadey, Paula Shahadey, Franklin Fennell, Michael Pick, and M & P Properties Group, LLC to recover damages caused by the conspiracy that was outlined in the federal indictments against Frank Shahadey and Franklin Fennell." That potential action will be disscused Monday at the regular school board meeting.
Fennell and Shahadey were part in a kickback scheme involving the school corporation, in which they took tens of thousands of dollars from the school corporation. That scheme involved overestimated invoices from a local tree trimming business.
Shahadey, a former Vigo County Deputy Sheriff and Vigo County School Corporation Liaison Officer, pleaded guilty to his charges in June of 2017. Those charges included wire fraud and theft of government funds.
In October of 2017 a federal judge sentenced Shahadey to 16 months in prison and two years of supervised released. At the time of sentencing, he had already served 11 months. In court, Shahadey stated the kickback scheme was Fennell's idea.
In December of 2017, federal jury found Fennell, former Facilities Director of the Vigo County School Corporation, guilty on 12 charges he was facing. Those charges break down to nine counts of wire fraud, two counts of lying to federal investigators, and one count of stealing government funds.
A judge is set to sentence Fennell on April 19th in Indianapolis. He faces 33 to 37 months in prison.
News 10 will be at Monday's meeting of the Vigo County School Board. We will bring you updates at that time.