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Norman resigns from school board

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Work as county employee makes him ineligible to serve

UPDATE: This report has been updated to include information from the Office of the Attorney General regarding Norman's resignation and eligibility.

A Nelson County School Board member has resigned from his position after learning he was ineligible to serve because he is a county employee.

David Norman, who has served as the board member for District 1 for three years, turned in his letter of resignation Tuesday night at the end of the Nelson County Board of Education meeting.

“I am disappointed to announce that I am resigning from the Nelson County School Board,” Norman wrote in his letter. “Recently, I found out that I am ineligible to be on the board due to my job as an equipment operator at the Nelson County Road Department.”

According to documents provided to The Kentucky Standard regarding Norman’s resignation, the Office of the Attorney General contacted Norman on Oct. 23 informing him a question had arisen about whether his position on the board was incompatible with his employment with the county, and that question had been investigated by the Office of Education Accountability.

Based on the investigation from the OEA, the letter states, Norman’s employment with the county made him ineligible to serve pursuant to KRS 61.080, prohibiting a person from holding a state office (school board member is considered a state office) and being an employee of a county at the same time.

According to Judge-Executive Dean Watts, who oversees county employees, Norman started in county solid waste in 1998 and transferred to the road department in 2006. This would mean Norman would have been ineligible for school board when he ran and was subsequently elected — having no challengers — in 2014.

Nelson County Clerk Elaine Filiatreau said school board candidates must complete a filing form just as any other candidate running for an office, but it is up to the candidate to know if he is qualified for the position and the responsibility of the public to challenge a candidacy if thought to be unqualified.

Filiatreau also said a school board candidate would have had to sign an affidavit for candidacy certifying he had completed the 12th grade or equivalent, and that he met the eligibility requirments to serve.

An affidavit for school board candidacy was included in sample documents provided to The Kentucky Standard Wednesday. The affidavit includes a list of eligibility requirements as set forth by KRS. 160.180, which states a candidate is ineligible to serve as a board member if he “holds or discharges the duties of any civil or political office, deputyship, or agency under the city or county of his residence.”

Norman joined the school board after former longtime member Frank Hall stepped down following nearly three decades of service. When he pursued the seat, Norman said he wanted “Better education for all students, typical and non-typical,” having a son with special needs.

“I have enjoyed the last (three) years and am proud of the work that this board has accomplished,” Norman wrote in his resignation letter. “I would like to thank this board, all the teachers, and principals of the Nelson County Schools. I would also like to thank the people of District 1 for their support.”

Following the board meeting, Norman also announced his resignation on Facebook and received dozens of comments from supporters disappointed to see him resign, saying he had done diligent work on behalf of schoolchildren in the community.

According to state appointment procedures, Norman's seat must be filled within 90 days of his resignation being accepted by the Kentucky Commissioner of Education. As of Wednesday afternoon, it had not been accepted. The Commissioner will be responsible for appointing a new member who meets all eligibility requirements. The appointed member would hold office until a successor is elected in the next regular November election. The board may make nominations for the seat, or any person may nominate himself or another for the office.