- Email – Clearly, I am being harassed (2/14/2015)
- Email – Request results sent directly to district (1/11/2015)
- Email – Concerned about your understanding (12/30/2014)
- Email to Jester – Employees must be fingerprinted (12/22/2014)
- Email to Chair – OCGA and board policy (12/12/2014)
- Email chain with WSB
- WSB Report
DeKalb County Interim Chief of Police
Requests For The GCIC Purpose Code
- Michael Thurmond – GCIC Purpose Code – Request (1/30/2015)
- Donald Smith – GCIC Purpose Code – Request (1/29/2015)
- Donald Smith – GCIC Purpose Code – Request (1/09/2015)
- FBI Departmental Order
- Dunwoody PD Background Check
- DeKalb PD Fingerprint Background Check
- GCIC Manual
- OCGA §20-2-51 – Persons ineligible to be on the board of education
- O.C.G.A. § 20-2-211.1(c) – Fingerprint & criminal background checks
- DCSD Policy GAHB(B.11) – Employee participation in politics
- DCSD Policy GAK(1) – Criminal background check
Let’s get the facts straight. I completed a police background check before Christmas, sent the report to the board chair, and posted it on my website. I think all the board members and administration should put their background checks online for all to see.
Regarding the inaccurate report this evening on WSB; I am dedicated to transparency and disclosure. As the parent of three precious children that go to public school in DeKalb County, I am as concerned about safety as any parent. So, I take great umbrage from the suggestion that I am doing something that might impede safety.
In preparation for my service on the Board of Education, I filled out paperwork and participated in board orientation. The administration asked their internal staff to fingerprint me in order to receive an ID badge. The administration insisted I be fingerprinted because they considered me an “employee” of the district. I researched this and found that both DeKalb BOE policy (GAHB) and state law (OCGA 20-2-51) explicitly state that BOE members are not employees.
After I emailed the Board Chair informing him of the DeKalb BOE policy and state law (OCGA), he emailed me with a new rationale that he was concerned about ensuring a safe environment for DeKalb’s students.
I am happy to submit to a background check, including fingerprinting. In fact, I have my police background check posted on my website. But let’s get two things perfectly clear:
- There is no requirement in DeKalb policy or Georgia state law that I provide my fingerprints to the school district; and
- It is a bold conflict of interest to be investigated by the agency I am elected to oversee.
I hope you will join me in understanding this is an attempt to quiet someone who will ask critical questions. If you are dedicated to fiscal stewardship and improving the educational lives of DeKalb’s children, I hope that you will join me in rejecting these bullying tactics.
I look forward to working collaboratively with all board members and staff that are dedicated to providing the most effective education to our children and conservative financial stewardship to our taxpayers. Together, we can improve the educational lives of our children.
All Emails From 12/12/2014 to 02/27/2015
Memo from Interim Chief James Conro
If it is a standard practice fine, but then move to formalize through the board policy or state law. Just because it is always done that way doesn’t make it right, legal or justified. If a criminal background is all that is required then so be it. I personally think fingerprinting should be board policy (followed by all including the Board members) but apparently it isn’t, so Stan, either kindly decline, do it because that’s what “we” do or move to make it the policy. Just because it fits Mr. Johnson’s goal isn’t reason enough to do something.
I am all for following the rules and if there isn’t already a rule there probably should be. Spend a little Board time sending this policy on for a vote and formalize it. Then it becomes a matter of what else is out there that isn’t documented, followed or in practice just because that’s the way it’s always been done and give those issues some sunlight. Makes me wonder, what else is done this way? That is the real question.
Stan, you may be right technically but this is a dumb fight to choose to begin your term. This can only diminish your impact on future important decisions that await the board.
This is simply pitiful, Stan. Of course, MJ is the worst, sneaky, and backstabbing person around, along with all of his cronies. He is just not smart, to begin with! I’m sorry he has attacked you, and I want you to know that there is a long trail of people who have been in his way! Anyone who knows his very dark side will tell you that his soft-spoken voice is a disguise for the devil within him. No act is too low for him, including accusing you of (???? ” safety”) ???
Is this factually accurate? Because if it is, how in the hell are you on a school board?:
Stan Jester is married to Nancy Jester, who was forcibly removed from the DeKalb County Board of Education by Gov. Nathan Deal in 2013, along with five other members. Her husband, Stan, ran unopposed for the District 1 Board of Education seat and won in May.
Nancy Jester was recently elected to the DeKalb County Commission to replace Elaine Boyer, who resigned in August and was subsequently indicted on public corruption charges.
Stan is 100% right by law and principal. He is walking into a group of low-ethic government employees who probably already realized that Stan is probably not going to fold to the syndicate like the Superintendent has (and board members who emanate from the syndicate). There is documented criminal activity at the DeKalb County School District and botching a background check, tampering, or misuse are not only not out of the question but to be expected with this group. There is no ethical or legal construct under which the employees governed by the Board may conduct a background investigation, no more than they could select (or reject) Mr. Jester. Wise move, I wish you Godspeed and hope you can be effective before you wear from the abuse. We should support and applaud, this strengthens not weakens the Board, which is something that has been absent for far too long. And you are absolutely correct that this school district is wholly unfamiliar with law and process.
No way Melvin Johnson wrote that email, it is way too articulate. I don’t think he has strung together more than two-three cohesive sentences in public or in writing in years. I will bet it is ‘their new lawyers’ at Nelson Mullins http://www.nelsonmullins.com/attorneys/nina-gupta! Apparently the school district now has authority over criminal investigations which I thought were the purview of GBI, FBI, and local chiefs of police; electoral and educational ethics which I thought were authorities of the State Department of Education and Secretary of State’s office. Recently they professed expertise of DeKalb County Tax Commissioner (scaring residents about taxes relating to cityhood and annexation), and professed expertise in waste, water and sewer which I thought was part of DeKalb Sanitation and Watershed (again – cityhood and annexation scare tactic). Why do we even need all of these other bothersome government entities if the School District and chairman possess all of this authority and expertise? Stan, your first resolution should be to abolish the ‘duplicative’ functions of police, tax, and municipal services since the DeKalb County School District has already analyzed these and knows all the answers. We don’t want to pay for these twice as taxpayers, do we?
Right on re the leak to WSB as evidence of how the DeKalb School District machine operates. BTW I have volunteered for 11 years in DeKalb schools and spend hours there each week, never been fingerprinted and I wouldn’t let the school district fingerprint me. Fine if the police do it, and had it done for jobs and other organizations. I don’t trust the school district with that information. Who would? Was there not a more important news event, though, today?
This comment comes from GaPundit , Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for January 5, 2015
I have a suggestion: all the Board Members, including Mr. Johnson should submit to voluntary and periodic urine tests. It would be fair to redact any results showing the use of medications for which the member has a valid prescription at the time. Let’s make this a literal peeing contest, not just a media-enabled figurative one.
I think the biggest issue here is that procedures like these attempt to put the cart before the horse by treating elected Board Members as employees of the Department. You see this issues not just at local school boards, but at the Georgia Department of Education. The concept is similar to that of “captive agencies,” where regulatory bodies become so influenced by the industry they regulate as to adopt many of the views of the industry itself.
Elected Board of Education members and State School Superintendents come and go, but the bureaucracy ensures it’s own long-term survival by surrounding the elected officials by “experts” to guide the officials in doing the bidding of the bureacrats. That’s not the way it’s supposed to work.
I am glad I don’t live in Dekalb County.
If this is the way you are going to start your time, I can only see more issues with Dekalb schools. You all make Atlanta City Schools look like a well run machine.
I guess because your wife was thrown out, you have a chip on your shoulder or you wanted to become a more famous name on AJC or WSB media outlets.
You may be 100% correct on the policy but are 100% wrong on your methods.
Best of luck to children in Dekalb. I hope for your sake your parents get transferred soon.
I didn’t contact the AJC or WSB. DeKalb Schools nefariously leaked the information. As you can see from the email chain, I was letting the chair know they were wrong about law and policy when, out of the blue, I see myself on WSB.
So is it true that Melvin Johnson is now saying that the DeKalb County School District “will not accept as a matter of policy any – and I mean any – background check from any other agency for security reasons . . .” Got to be kidding. So basically a rent-a-cop from the school district, which runs fingerprints through the FBI Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System, or IAFIS (assuming they even do this), won’t accept fingerprints from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security, presumably the National Security Agency, probably the Central Intelligence Agency, likely the Office of Secret Service. Oh, because ‘“[a]ny background check can be altered coming from one agency to another.” I guess the thousand+ state and federal agencies who worked this out LONG AGO are just plain careless . . . When you read ‘it could be altered’ Stan you should understand ‘by the DeKalb County School District.’ Superintendent pro-tem is in jail, COO pro-tem is in jail. DO NOT GIVE THESE PEOPLE YOUR FINGERPRINTS OR YOU WILL BE TERRIBLY SORRY. This is the same way Melvin Johnson treats anybody who disagrees with him. This is very scary, I tell you. I am sorry for you, thanks for agreeing to take this basically thankless and zero-paying job to try to help our kids. God bless all of them and their teachers if this is the type of bureaucracy and thinking we have in DeKalb. Gheez.
Hi. I asked this over on the DSW blog but either way it wasn’t allowed to be posted: can you clarify who “writes the checks” that you will receive? It seems like that’s part of the equation here. Personally, I understand how you’re reading the GA Code (and tend to agree); but some agency is writing the check. If you’re an employee of the State or of the Dept. of Education – none of those would seem to be in conflict with the statue.
Almost regardless, are you promoting a policy that does not require DCSS to conduct their own background checks? Or is that a separate issue in your mind?
Hi Gregory. Most government employees in agencies across the state are required to get background checks. None of the officials elected to oversee them are required to get background checks. For example, all DeKalb County employees must get background checks. Commissioners, however, do not.