MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Shelby County Schools have moved on from former Superintendent Joris Ray. New documents obtained by WREG paint a clearer picture of the cost of the ordeal.
When the wife of the now-former superintendent filed divorce documents, they revealed possible violations of policy. The school board responded by passing a resolution to “determine whether Ray… engaged in relationships with District employees.”
“I respect the board’s oversight,” Ray said on July 13.
At the time, board members hired two outside lawyers: former U.S. Attorney Ed Stanton would investigate the allegations, and former MLGW counsel Herman Morris would advise the board on personnel matters.
The WREG investigators have obtained documents showing some of that work.
Records showed two invoices from Morris, billed in August and September, for a total of more than $30,000.
The board redacted information showing information of time entries for each payment.
We can see Morris charged an hourly rate of $425, which is higher than the Tennessee average. Morris told WREG he sets his rates based on his 45 years of experience and actually gave the school board a discount for being a public institution.
All the money paid to attorneys comes in addition to the severance pay offered to Ray. He was allowed to resign and now earns $480,000 to stay home.
Board chair Michelle McKissack said they never received the investigation they hired Stanton to do since they accepted Ray’s resignation rather than continue that process.
WREG has requested documents showing how much MSCS paid Stanton to conduct the investigation into the allegations.