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Mon, Jul 24, 2017 11:46 PM
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue
Board member says AG should bow out
Magoffin official claims conflict of interest in dispute
SALYERSVILLE — A Magoffin County school board member accused of usurping his office has filed an answer to the accusations, claiming that the attorney general's office should not be permitted to file the suit due to a conflict of interest.

Carl Howard claims in his answer that the attorney general's office gave him legal advice before he filed to run for office, advising him that he was eligible to run for school board as long as he satisfied the eligibility requirements before he took the oath of the office.

According to the suit filed in Magoffin Circuit Court, the attorney general maintains that Howard was not eligible to run because he did not have a high school diploma or a GED. The attorney general also said that proof of eligibility for the office must be filed in the form of a sworn affidavit when the candidate files to run.

Howard maintains that the Kentucky Revised Statute which sets the eligibility requirements for a school board member is "vague" and does not "set forth any specific time requirements as to when the requirements for school board eligibility must be met."

Howard claims in his answer that he obtained his GED before he took the oath for the office and that, according to an attorney general's opinion, eligibility for membership on a board of education does not relate to the time of filing but to the time at which the candidate takes the oath of office and officially assumes the position.

Howard further claims that he obtained his high school equivalence diploma on Jan. 13 before he took the oath of office and asks that the suit be dismissed and he be allowed to continue performing as a Magoffin County school board member.

A copy of the diploma is included in his response to the suit along with a copy of his GED transcript.

No date has been set for the suit to be heard in court, but the attorney general's office said Tuesday that lawyers plan to file a response to Howard's answer but could not comment on the exact nature of the response.

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