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Sycamore Schools board member accused of using student labor to fulfill gov’t contract

The Ohio Education Association claims wrongdoing.
Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 6:12 PM EDT
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SYCAMORE TOWNSHIP (WXIX) - The Ohio Education Association is accusing Sycamore School District Board of Education member David Evans of unethical behavior.

The allegations date back to late 2017 when he was elected.

The OEA claims four days after he was elected in 2017 he met with a teacher at Sycamore High School to talk about a learning project for the engineering and architecting program.

The OEA says the project, which resulted in the creation of maintenance stands, fulfilled a government contract for TESSEC, a company owned by Evans.

Evans allegedly said he would donate a water jet cutter to the program for students to use on future projects in exchange for them completing the work.

Over the course of the spring semester in 2018, students spent 400 hours and teachers spend 200 hours creating the stands, according to the OEA.

The company owned by Evans allegedly provided around $12,000 in materials for the project but failed to donate the water jet cutter to the program, opting instead to donate $1,900 in cash as well as other items to the students.

The OEA says TESSEC made more than $85,000 from the government contract that was fulfilled by work done by students.

We have tried multiple times by phone and email to ask Evans about these allegations.

We even tried asking him questions after the Sept. 22 board of education meeting. Evans said at the time, “I can’t add to your story.”

FOX19 NOW then asked, “Did those items fulfill a contract that your company had with a third party client?”

Evans replied, “So, we’re not allowed to discuss our third-party client stuff. We have NDA’s with all our clients, so that would be a breach of contract.”

Asked whether that client knew the items were being made by students, Evands replied, “All of that would be vetted by our clients.”

The OEA claims Evans violated a board of education policy and the law, saying the project was a conflict of interest because it involved money and the provision of supplies and equipment to the district to make the stands.

With help from OEA, the Sycamore Education Association is in the process of filing a complaint about the situation with the Ohio Ethics Commission.

The OEA claims the school district ended up spending $15,000 on the equivalent of a water jet cutter for the engineering program.

On Thursday, FOX19 NOW tried multiple times by email and phone to speak with David Evans about these allegations.

A family member told us they would pass along our request for an interview. As of right this writing, we have not gotten a response.

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