By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Lee County Schools Superintendent Mike Scott said Thursday he will not resign as the county Democratic Executive Committee has demanded.
A letter from that committee had called for Scott to resign because of an alleged extramarital affair with a school district employee. It set today as the deadline.
Eric Hampton, the committee’s chairman, met with the district’s school board in a closed session Tuesday night. He said afterward that if Scott, who was elected as a Democrat in 2007, did not resign, the group would contemplate other action against him.
In a brief interview Thursday, Scott said he would not resign, but declined to discuss the matter in further detail.
Earlier in the day, he had sent a letter to the editor of the Daily Journal, acknowledging “poor judgment” in his personal life.
“I know the people of the Lee County School District have been waiting to hear from me,” Scott said in the letter. “I have used poor judgment that I truly regret in my personal life. The person that I have hurt the most is my wife, who has strength of character like no other person I know. I have asked for forgiveness from God and from my wife and children. This is all I wish to reveal concerning my personal life.”
Scott denied any misuse of funds, a charge that had been made by Hampton.
“This school district – like all others in this state – has to undergo an audit every year,” Scott wrote in the letter.
Scott declined to comment beyond the letter, which is published in full on today’s Daily Journal editorial page, because of pending litigation.
The district and Scott are under legal notice that they will be sued by attorney and state Democratic Party chairman Jamie Franks, who claims his now former wife and school district employee had an affair with Scott.
Contact Chris Kieffer at (662) 678-1590 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Statement from Mike Scott below
I know the people of the Lee County School District have been waiting to hear from me. I have used poor judgment that I truly regret in my personal life. The person that I have hurt the most is my wife, who has strength of character like no other person I know. I have asked for forgiveness from God and from my wife and children. This is all I wish to reveal concerning my personal life.
I do wish to address the issue of misspent funds. This school district – like all others in this state – has to undergo an audit every year. This office is also policed by the state auditor’s office and undergoes periodic audits. Our recent curriculum audit revealed that our district has put a higher percentage of funds back into the classroom even though there has been less funding from the state in the last three years.
The funds we have expended have increased technology in the classrooms and have trained assistant teachers in intervening with children who are having academic problems. We have implemented research-based intervention programs throughout our district. Communications have improved with parents with the purchase of SchoolCast. Advanced Placement courses are now offered on each of our high school campuses. Administrators and teachers have taken trips to other Mississippi school districts and school districts out-of-state, and each time we have brought back strategies and ideas that have been implemented in our district to increase student achievement.
I think the people of the Lee County School District are proud of the fact that our test scores have been increasing over the last three years, and that there is evidence in the data that we are closing the achievement gap for economically disadvantaged children and minorities.
In closing let me say that our faculty and staff at each of the schools have nothing but the best interest of our children at heart, and they have proven this through the achievements our children have made and are continuing to make.
Superintendent of Lee County Schools
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