LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The vice chairman of the Kentucky Board of Education said Tuesday he's been assured by Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt that he did not share details of the nearly completed audit of Jefferson County Public Schools with members of the local school board.

But Rich Gimmel, the board's vice chairman, added that such a move, if it happened, "would be a serious breach of trust by" Pruitt.

Gimmel's statement comes the same day that the state board is set to meet behind closed doors to discuss personnel and possibly take action. Pruitt, the board's only employee, must be given a 90-day notice if he's fired without cause but can be let go immediately if the board ousts him for cause, according to the four-year contract he signed in October 2015.

Chris Brady, a member of the Jefferson County Board of Education, told WDRB News and other outlets Monday that Pruitt informed the school board last week that he would recommend state assistance as a result of the Kentucky Department of Education's audit of JCPS, which has been ongoing for more than a year but is nearing completion. That would mean KDE staff would be in the district's central office to monitor compliance with the audit's findings, Brady said.

Gimmel noted that Pruitt declined to discuss the JCPS audit when asked about its status during last week's state education board meeting, saying that would be improper until the audit is finished.

"As late as 9:37 p.m. last night, Dr. Pruitt assured me that the Courier Journal story is inaccurate, and that he has made no such revelations to JCPS staff as reported in the CJ. I choose to believe him," Gimmel said in a statement. "Anything to the contrary would be a serious breach of trust by him. 

"I’ve stated before that Dr. Pruitt has repeatedly proven to be a man of highest integrity, and I will stand by that unless proven otherwise."

Gimmel added that no member of the state board "has any hint of the audit’s findings – especially its ultimate recommendations."

"Dr. Pruitt has remained steadfast in his assertion, quite properly, that he will protect the integrity of the audit process, and that any such discussion would be highly inappropriate at this time," he said. "The JCPS audit was originally projected to be completed a year ago, but has been extended for a number of reasons, which are mostly unknown to KBE members."

The state board is scheduled to meet 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, a day after Gov. Matt Bevin appointed seven new members, including former Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Secretary Hal Heiner. That makes the board entirely made up of Bevin appointees.

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