Tractor, ATV bought by former C-P superintendent to be auctioned

By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor

The tractor and ATV which former Como-Pickton School Superintendent Bryan Neal is accused of using school funds to purchase for his own personal use will be sold to the highest bidder, provided the minimum cost is met, school board members decided Monday night.

Neal was arrested for allegedly giving false statements at Farm Country to purchase a $19,134.60 Kubota tractor as well as a $11,806.56 all-terrain vehicle on behalf of the school district, which he kept for himself. He reportedly had been having an amount in excess of $500 taken out of his check monthly to pay the cost. He did not advertise for bids and received the school discount and benefit of no tax on the equipment, District Attorney Martin Braddy said following Neal's arrest in January.

The district still owes just over $19,000 on the lease-purchase agreement, and opted not to let the equipment — which board member Abbie Wright pointed out the district doesn’t need —  "go back," as doing so would negatively affect the district's financial ratings. Instead, the item will be listed as surplus property to be disposed of.

Sandra Billodeau, acting superintendent, was authorized to post for bids, noting that the district would "have the right to reject any and all bids" and a minimum asking price would have to be met.

Bryan Neal was suspended with pay from his job as superintendent after allegations of misuse of district funds. Following his arrest on two charges of fraud and one forgery charge, and negotiations between his attorneys and those of the school district, Neal tendered his resignation, which became effective at the end of January. Billodeau was appointed acting superintendent Jan. 22.

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