State Senator calls on Hamilton Co Schools to release settlement amounts in rape case
In 2015, multiple students from Ooltewah High School were sexually assaulted with a pool cue during a basketball team trip to Gatlinburg.
"All of a sudden it all went away and nothing was said," Senator Todd Gardenhire told Channel 3.
One of the victims suffered extreme injuries. Hamilton County School District's insurance carrier settled with that victim for 750,000 dollars.
"I've just now found out in the last week or two there was a second lawsuit that they didn't provide us the information on," Gardenhire said.
Senator Todd Gardenhire says the Hamilton County School District is breaking the law by refusing to disclose the settlement amount with the second victim.
"We want them [HCSD] to come forward and tell what their mistakes cost the taxpayers of Hamilton county," said the state senator.
Senator Gardenhire says this issue is about taxpayer dollars and their right to know where their money is being spent.
"We don't want to know the child's name, we don't know what the injuries were to the child, we don't want to know the perpetrator's name, we are interested in the tax money spent," Gardenhire told Channel 3.
In a statement to Channel 3 Hamilton County spokesperson Tim Hensley said in part: "The Hamilton County Board of Education and the district did not participate in determining, approve a settlement amount or have access to information regarding any settlement amount."
Still, Gardenhire feels this comes down to a lack of transparency.
"If they would not be truthful and forthcoming over something this small-- then what are they going to do with something big?" questioned Senator Gardenhire.