St. Louis schools paid convicted felon thousands to organize basketball

FOX Files
This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

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.

About the FOX Files

The Fox Files are groundbreaking investigations you won’t see anywhere else. The series is well known for breaking the Pam Hupp story nationally. The reports that led to the exoneration of Russ Faria. But, it is far from the only time in which our investigations led to overturned convictions and freedom for the wrongfully accused. The Fox Files investigations do not fit into just one category, other than the fact our reports shine a light on issues and corruption in ways you won’t see anywhere else.

You won’t know what to expect as our reports often take twists that surprise even Fox Files investigator Chris Hayes.

“You never know where the truth will lead and you have to keep searching for it, even when you think you might be done,” Hayes said.

From getting arrested for trying to cover a public meeting, to getting law enforcement involved in his report about a daycare fight club, the Fox Files has been at the forefront of breaking news investigations in the St. Louis area.

It doesn’t stop just in St. Louis. The Pam Hupp/Russ Faria story took him to Lincoln County. Fox 2 was the first to report, nationally, on the synthetic drug epidemic when it began in St. Charles County, MO. In St. Louis County, our Fox Files reporting led to the dismantling of some police departments, including the departments of Uplands Park and Jennings. And in the City of St. Louis, our investigations led to swift government actions, such as our report that led to the Governor’s ordered shut down of a daycare.

Our reporting in St. Louis also led to former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens’ exclusive Fox Files interviews involving his court fight to oust the chief prosecutor while attempting to prove that political corruption led to an illegal overturning of a state election.

“It’s not always bad news,” Hayes said about a recent victory for a restaurant in his coverage of a St. Clair County Illinois issue. A Fox Files report, exposing a health department’s mistake over the COVID-19 pandemic, led to an overturning of a decision, allowing the business to open for limited inside dining.

Another investigation took us to Madison County, where prosecutors praised Fox 2’s coverage while shutting down an illegal synthetic drug business – and to Monroe County, where we uncovered key evidence in the Chris Coleman murder trial.

Even the national media, continues reaching out to local affiliate Fox 2 KTVI and the Fox Files, for its work on cases that are important to St. Louis. When you see a network television’s coverage of St. Louis, you’ll often see that they gathered information that was first uncovered right here.

Popular

Latest News

More News