PANAMA CITY — One week after releasing a report stating baseball fields at Arnold were used inappropriately during the past several summers, Bay District Schools has reopened its investigation.
Former Bay High School athletic director Glenn Manley, who now serves as an investigator for the Florida High School Athletics Association, will handle the investigation.
“I’ve been asked by them to do that,” said Manley, who was the athletic director at Bay for more than seven years and later retired as an assistant principal at Cherry Street Elementary in 2013.
“I am retired, and I was an AD, so I know how the process is supposed to go. And I don’t have any ties to the district or that sort of thing.”
In a report released on July 17, Sharon Michalik, the Bay District Schools’ executive director of human resources, found that former Marlins baseball coach Mitch Kelly and Arnold school officials did not follow district policies related to the use of school property for events.
“I found no Facility Use Form for these events, no payments of the fees to the District as required,” Michalik said in her report.
Michalik said Kelly collected $125 a day from Grand Slam Tournaments, which has hosted baseball tournaments at Arnold and other area fields each summer since 2009. The Grand Slam World Series of Baseball was split into four sessions this summer, each session lasting six or seven days, and teams competed on fields at Arnold, Rutherford, South Walton and Gulf Coast State College.
“Coach Kelly acknowledges receiving the funds from Grand Slam for services rendered for opening and closing the Arnold facility, preparing and maintaining the fields and facilities, etc., and also noted that the funds were used to compensate himself and other assistant coaches for providing summer baseball coaching services to members of the Arnold team,” the report said.
Arnold’s baseball booster club contends that the $125 should have been paid to the baseball program, not the coach, because players and parents were asked to help with field preparation and maintenance, as well as work in the concession stand.
Manley said he did not know why Bay District Schools officials felt inclined to reopen the investigation.
“I don’t know what changed,” he said. “They just said that they reopened it for some reason. I can’t give you any information because I don’t know. They just asked me if I’d look into it.”
Manley said he was not given a time frame in which to complete the assignment and will begin his investigation from scratch on Monday.
“I’ll start over,” he said. “I’m going to go back and get the information from people — from all parties — and start over. That’s what they want me to do. ... I’m just trying to get down to the bottom of the truth.”