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COLUMBUS, Miss. (AP) — A local school superintendent in Mississippi has lost his job amid questions about misspending.

The Commercial Dispatch reports that Columbus Municipal School District trustees voted Friday to fire Philip Hickman, four months before the end of his contract.

The school board has been looking into financial irregularities, including Hickman paying $15,000 of district money to a California-based reputation management firm. Hickman, who did not attend Friday’s meeting, previously told the newspaper that he hired ReputationDefender “to change the outlook if someone searches for the district or me” online.

The board decided in November not to extend Hickman’s contract beyond June 30. It has hired the Mississippi School Boards Association to help fill the job.

Deputy Superintendent Craig Shannon will serve as interim leader of the district.


Information from: The Commercial Dispatch,