Ardmore High School Band Director Jamie Bowman quits over missing money

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ARDMORE, Ala. (WHNT) - The band director at Limestone County's Ardmore High School quit his job. The school board voted to accept his resignation Monday night. Jamie Bowman is under investigation over several thousand dollars in missing funds. It's money that was supposed to be used for a band trip.

An audit uncovered the missing funds, and when investigators went to Bowman's school office, they found evidence of alcohol use. Officials declined to say exactly how much money is missing, but indicated it amounted to several thousand dollars.  The money was to have been used to get the band to Tampa, Florida, to perform in the Outback Bowl on New Year's Day.

Limestone County Schools Superintendent Tom Sisk explained, "There's actually two different types of investigations going on. There's the legal piece which the sheriff is handling at the Limestone County Sheriff's Office. Then, of course, there's the administrative investigation which is what we conducted."

Bowman was placed on paid administrative leave earlier this month when the allegations first came to light. Monday night, the school board formally accepted his resignation as opposed to going through the process of firing him.

"He has a due process right. And under the Students First Act of 2011, that can take up to 75 days. So, 20 working days a month, times 3, that's 60 days, so basically 4 months. You could spend anywhere from $17,000 to $20,000 paying this person while this due process works out," Sisk said. The missing cash includes money the students raised themselves during several fundraising activities to help pay for that trip.

We sent a text message to Dr. Sisk Tuesday evening asking what it would take to make certain the band was able to make the Outback Bowl. Sisk replied, "We will make the trip." There was no further explanation. WHNT News 19 plans to follow-up with Dr. Sisk Wednesday to learn more.

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