‘Financial improprieties’ probed in Montgomery Co. schools’ transportation department

Maryland’s largest school district has notified police of what it says are “possible financial improprieties” in its transportation department.

On Tuesday, Montgomery County Public School system spokesman Chris Cram confirmed that an investigation was underway but did not disclose specific details.

“To respect and support the integrity of the investigation, no further information is available at this time,” Cram said in an email to WTOP.

Todd Watkins, director of transportation, and Charles Ewalt, assistant director of the department, were placed on leave. School officials have not offered any details about when and how that decision was made.

The school system has temporarily appointed Michael Lewis to the post of acting director of transportation, and Kathy Herald, to the position of acting assistant director of the department, while the investigation is underway.

“Based on what we learn, we will determine next steps,” Cram said, adding that “the safe transportation of students to and from school each day will not be impacted.”

The Montgomery County school system, like others across the country, has been dealing with a shortage of school bus drivers.

There are 1,200 vehicles in the fleet and the school system approved a contract in February to convert the fleet from diesel to electric buses.

Kate Ryan

As a member of the award-winning WTOP News, Kate is focused on state and local government. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She's also covered breaking news, education and more.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2021 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up