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Board members investigated

Photo by Greg Bird Brandon Kidd and Debbie Gibson (left) are two members of the McCreary County Board of Education who are facing allegations of improper actions by a state agency. Copies of the report and the responses can be viewed in Brandon Kidd vs. Debbie Gibson.

Photo by Greg Bird
Brandon Kidd and Debbie Gibson (left) are two members of the McCreary County Board of Education who are facing allegations of improper actions by a state agency. Copies of the report and the responses can be viewed in Brandon Kidd vs. Debbie Gibson.

The OEA will be sending those findings to the Kentucky Department of Education for possible actions, which could include additional training, suspension or removal from office if the accusations are found to be warranted.

Board Chairman Brandon Kidd and Vice-Chair Debbie Gibson are accused of acting beyond their duties as members of the Board, but both Board members vehemently deny the charges in their responses to the report.

The OEA further states in their response to our records request additional investigations within the school district are ongoing, and will not release details until they are completed.

The OEA is a branch of the Legislative Research Commission and was established in order to investigate accusations of wrong doing in school districts in Kentucky. Their authority is to investigate such matters, but can only forward their findings to the appropriate authorities and can not independently act other than to recommend a possible course of action.

While the reports do include responses from both Board members, they are often short statements denying the claims. The Voice also obtained a full copy of their responses submitted by Attorney Michael A. Owsley, and will include those details when addressing the charges.

In both legal responses the nature of fact gathering conducted by the OAE is questioned, noting witnesses were not sworn under oath, and no records of the interviews were kept.

Owsley contends neither Kidd, Gibson nor their attorney were able to cross examine the witnesses or see the evidence collected against them, denying their due process and violating their Constitutional rights.

A spokesperson for the Kentucky Department was unable to confirm as of press time they had reveived the report, and what potential actions they may take.

According to KRS statute 156.132 if the local Board of Education does not act on the charges within 30 days of the report, the State Department of Education can take action against the individuals charged.

Those facing suspension or removal have a right to appeal and can request to appear before a board for an emergency hearing.

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