MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Necessity of the job, or priceless perk? New questions about a long-standing Memphis City Schools tradition of giving top administration officials, including Dr. Kriner Cash, access to personal drivers.
"A group of officers that have responsibility to not only drive Dr. Cash but any official needed to be in a specific place at a specific time," said Gerald Darling, Chief of Security for MCS.
A Shelby County Schools spokesman said Superintendent John Aitken does not have access to a driver.
"It has been something that was done prior to Dr. Cash coming here, and something that has been continued," Darling said.
Dr. Cash says for him, it is all about time management.
"The schedule is busy, the places are many, and when you go, you're working," said Dr. Cash. "You don't want to text and call and do all of your work when you are also driving."
"It is important for a big school superintendent to have access," Dr. Cash said.
"I don't have a driver, Superintendent Aitkens doesn't have a driver, but Dr. Cash does," said Kevin Woods, a Unified School Board member. "We have a lot of big issues as a school board, cutting costs is one of them, and we will be looking at a lot of different issues come across the table as we look to merge both districts."
MCS does not break down costs for its driver's program in its budget.
"Another thing the two systems differ on so I think we can come to some kind of consensus," Woods added.
The program came into focus this week after MCS suspended one of Cash's drivers over year-old allegations he sent inappropriate texts to an under-age girl.
MCS says that investigation remains ongoing.