Still waiting on answers in ALSDE probes

November 8, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Three attorneys for the state’s department of education along with a board member have serious charges pending before the Alabama State Bar Disciplinary Commission over a scheme to deny Dr. Craig Pouncey the superintendent’s  job and yet there has been no response from the bar.

Bar complaints against Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) board member, Mary Scott Hunter, ALSDE attorneys Juliana Teixeira Dean, James R Ward III, and Susan Tudor Crowther were filed some months ago after an internal investigation. The internal report found Hunter and the three ALSDE lawyer had schemed a smear Pouncey who was a candidate for state superintendent.

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State Rep. Will Ainsworth holds on to fundraising lead in Lieutenant Governor race

November 7, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

The race for the Republican nomination for Lieutenant Governor is highly competitive with no clear front runner as the candidates all work on establishing name recognition with voters.

The candidates all reported competitive fundraising in October.  Will Ainsworth, Rusty Glover, and Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh have all declared that they are running for the office in the 2018 Republican Primary.

State Rep. Will Ainsworth, R-Guntersville, had a beginning balance coming into October of $1,058,437.65.  Ainsworth reported cash contributions of $45,075.  Ainsworth reported expenditures of $15,2034.79 and line of credit expenditures of $1,336.96 for an ending balance of $1,088,277.86.

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BOE member Mary Scott Hunter running for state Senate

September 25, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Alabama State Board of Education member Mary Scott Hunter announced that she will be run in the open seat election for Alabama Senate District 7.

“The people of my district know me as a fighter, as a wife, a mom of three children who attend public school, and a woman of faith,” Hunter said. “They have seen me tested and know the quality of my character. I love this state, and I love the place I call home, Madison County, Alabama. I’ve decided to enter the race for Senate District 7 because it’s where I can best serve the people.”
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Investigation into Pouncey Smear delivered to Special Prosecution Division

August 14, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

On Friday last, a package was hand-delivered to the State’s Attorney General’s Office containing the results of two investigations into what is labeled a smear campaign against Dr. Craig Pouncey, by those who plotted to deny him the position of State Education Superintendent.

Delivered directly to the Special Prosecution Division, lead by hard-boiled chief Matt Hart, the dossier encompasses the finds by the Alabama Department of Education conducted by Michael Meyer and the bipartisan Senate committee lead by Senators Gerald Dial (R-Lineville) and Quinton Ross (D-Montgomery).

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EXCLUSIVE: Pope deposition indicates ALSDE collusion, smear campaign

August 2, 2017

By Bill Britt and Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

A deposition given by the Alabama State Department of Education’s Chief Information Security Officer appears to substantially support a report provided by a staff attorney that found a willful attempt by certain ALSDE staff and a State School Board member to smear a superintendent candidate.

A full copy of the deposition of chief security officer David Pope, taken in May, was obtained by APR. It has never been released to the public and ALSDE denied numerous requests from APR for a copy of the report.
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In praise of doing what’s right

July 31, 2017

By Larry Lee
Education Matters

Ain’t no way 11 months ago I would ever write what I am now writing. That’s because I had just watched state school board member Stephanie Bell raise her hand on Aug. 11 as one of five votes to hire Mike Sentance as State Superintendent.

I thought then–and still do—it was one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen a group of adults do.  Given his lack of qualifications and lack of support from educators, how do you justify selecting him?
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Senator Dial’s Joint Legislative Committee sends report to the State Bar Association

July 26, 2017

By Samuel Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter

An internal Alabama State Department of Education report will now head to the Alabama State Bar Association following a Joint Legislative Committee meeting.

The committee, headed by State Senator Gerald Dial (R-Lineville) and Quinton Ross (D-Montgomery), met Tuesday to review new materials in a report by ALSDE Attorney Michael Meyer regarding the state superintendent selection process last year.

Meyer’s report implicates ALSDE General Counsel Juliana Dean, Interim State Superintendent Phillip Cleveland, Board Member Mary Scott Hunter and two other staff attorneys in a scheme to undermine the candidacy of State Superintendent Candidate Dr. Craig Pouncey.
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Amid turmoil at Department of Education, Dial’s Joint Legislative Committee will meet today

July 25, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

The special Joint Legislative Committee that’s investigating possible misconduct surrounding the Board of Education’s selection of State Superintendent Michael Sentance last year will meet later today to resume its inquiry into the controversy embroiling the State Department of Education.

The Committee is investigating an ethics complaint leak intended to smear superintendent candidate Craig Pouncey and deny him a fair chance at being the superintendent. A report authored by the Board’s General Counsel, Michael Meyer, which was obtained last month by APR, found that five individuals conspired to “malign Pouncey” and prevent his selection by filing and later leaking the erroneous complaint.

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Sources: State Board plans to fire Superintendent Michael Sentance

July 21, 2017
Alabama Superintendent Michael Sentance

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

The Alabama State School Board plans to fire State Superintendent Michael Sentance, two source close to the board have told APR.

Those sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the board has not officially made a decision, said Tuesday’s meeting, at which board members will discuss an early evaluation of Sentance, is the first step in the process to terminate him.

On Thursday, al.com reported that the evaluation of Sentance – which comes at least three months before his scheduled annual evaluation – came as a surprise to some board members. Board Vice President Stephanie Bell sent the form this week and requested that all members fill out and return the evaluation form by the end of the day on Friday.
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Dial’s “laundry list” of who will appear in Pouncey smear investigation

July 18, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

A “laundry list” of political figures and State employees received a letter on July 17, from Senator Gerald Dial requesting their appearance on Tuesday, July 25, 2017, at 1:00 pm, to investigate the false ethics complaints filed against Dr. Craig Pouncey.

The letter states, “I write to you in my role as Chair of the Joint Legislative Committee to Investigate Confidentiality Issues Involving Complaints Filed with the State Ethics Commission which was created pursuant to Act 2016-456 (SJR 6).”
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