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St. Louis schools paid convicted felon thousands to organize basketball

ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Public Schools entered into a no-bid contract with a convicted felon. A spokesperson says the man’s criminal record is not relevant.

The contract did not require a bid because it was just under $5,000. If it was for just $5 more, it would’ve required a bid. The contract is payable to Floyd Irons for “consultant services” on basketball games.

SLPS paid Irons $4,995 to “assist in the organization” of three basketball events in 2017 and 2018.

The Fox Files found the contract using a “Missouri Sunshine Request.”

Irons served federal prison time a decade ago for mortgage fraud. And after a separate investigation into recruiting violations, his former team, Vashon High School, was stripped of three state championships.

We went straight to the basketball coaching legend, after being tipped off about the SLPS payment for consulting. Irons seemed to initially dance around the answer when Fox 2 reporter Chris Hayes confronted him at his home.

Irons said, “Somebody said that I had a contract?”
Reporter Chris Hayes: “Yeah.”
Irons: “who told you that?”
Hayes: “Well I’ve got the contract.”
Irons: “Where’d you get that contract from?”
Hayes: “I requested it from the school system.”
Irons: “What’s the deal?”
Hayes: “That’s what I want to know from you. I’ve got a copy of it. I just want to make sure I give you your fair say.”
Irons: “I don’t think I need to …”
Hayes: “Do you want to? I mean I can come back. You know I’ve got a camera out here. I’m not trying to be sneaky.”
Irons: “I don’t want, I don’t want to uh -- is something wrong with the contract?”
Hayes: “I just want to know if it’s appropriate to have a contract?”
Irons: “For me to have a contract? I’m sure it was appropriate. If it wasn’t, the Superintendent wouldn’t have given it.”

A concerned citizen, who did not want to be identified, told us the District is sending kids the wrong message by awarding a no-bid contract to a felon.

St. Louis Public Schools declined to talk on camera but wrote: “While the district is and was aware of Mr. Irons’ prior conviction for a white-collar crime, it was not a relevant consideration with regard to the contract at issue. Mr. Irons’ long history of service to the St. Louis City community and expertise in secondary basketball were the relevant factors for the District in entering into this contract for a discrete service, which Mr. Irons successfully provided, to the benefit of our students and community. The District followed its policies and procedures in entering into the contract.”

Because of the contract amount, this also was not a regular School Board decision, rather the nearly $5,000 was given by the three-member Special Administrative Board.