Controversial candidate keeps school politics front and center

From the Publisher Jay Nolan
From the Publisher
Jay Nolan

School starts back this week in Knox County. And, so does the controversy over who will be on the Knox County School board. Believe it or not, former school board chairman Dexter Smith, who resigned after being investigated by multiple agencies and was facing perjury allegations, filed to run again. 

Already, one question is, did he actually commit perjury Tuesday when he filed his candidate papers with the County Clerk?

You may remember candidates for school board must sign that they meet the qualifications of the office, specifically a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Smith’s “qualifications” from his first run was what turned out to be a fake diploma from an on-line diploma mill. While under investigation by the Kentucky Department of Education and Kentucky State Police, he was caught on tape reading a magazine as someone else took his GED test for him. He resigned shortly thereafter.

Now, he alleges his GED is valid and qualifies him to run. Sadly, I guess he thinks if he has the GED, even if he cheated to get it, that’s all that matters. Does he take another GED test we don’t know about? After all, he went to Jackson County to get the first one. 

If not, will he be allowed to run or will someone challenge his eligibility this time? Will he be brought up on new perjury charges?

If he remains on the ballot, Smith does have a lot of relatives and friends in that district. Plus, it will be a three-way race, so his opposition could split the anti-Smith vote. And this is Eastern Kentucky, where family and clan matter much.

Hopefully, the voters of District 4 will be allowed to settle this once and for all. I think it will take a landslide victory to even begin to restore his damaged credibility, or a resounding election-day butt whipping to keep him off the ballot in the future.

What do you think?