As we continue to rehash the shenanigans that took place last summer looking for a state school chief, one of the focal points continues to be what role did state board member Mary Scott Hunter play in it all? She told a legislative committee that she made sure the anonymous smear sheet aimed at applicant Craig Pouncey got to legal counsel, Juliana Dean, at the state department. She has also admitted that she notified the head of the Ethics Commission about this info.
So it struck me as odd during her testimony last fall that she stated several times how she holds Pouncey in high regard. She took this same tack today at a board meeting where there was lengthy discussion about a report done by ALSDE attorney Michael Meyer which reviewed last summer’s release of the anonymous complaint.
Today she told fellow board members that she “cares deeply about Dr. Pouncey” and that he was both her friend and colleague. Apparently she is trying to establish that she had no motive for trying to discredit his name last summer.
OK. Let’s take a look.
Prior to the board vote last August on a new superintendent, each member, including Governor Robert Bentley, could list up to five of the applicants to be interviewed.
Bentley listed Bill Evers, Jeana Ross and Janet Womack. Board member Matt Brown listed Mark Kirkemier, Craig Pouncey, Jeana Ross and Bill Evers. Board member Betty Peters named Bill Evers, Mike Sentance and Craig Pouncey. Member Stephanie Bell listed Mike Sentance, Bill Evers and Craig Pouncey.
Member Yvette Richardson named Craig Pouncey, Janet Womack, Dee Fowler and Mark Kirkemier. Member Ella Bell only listed Craig Pouncey. Member Cynthia McCarty had Janet Womack, Dee Fowler, Craig Pouncey, Jeanna Ross and Bill Evers on her list. Member Jeff Newman listed Craig Pouncey, Dee Fowler and Janet Womack.
Mary Scott Hunter picked Bill Evers, Dee Fowler, Mike Sentance and Jeana Ross.
So of the eight elected board members and the governor, only Hunter and the governor did not ask that Pouncey be interviewed. In other words, apparently she felt that at least four other applicants were more qualified than he was. (Editor’s note: This information is taken from the board minutes of July 12, 2016 available on the ALSDE website.)
When the vote was called for on August 11, Hunter voted for Mike Sentance (twice), Dee Fowler, Jeana Ross and Janet Womack.
One would have thought that she would have asked that her “friend and colleqage” at least be interviewed. And that she would even have voted for him.
So how deep is her concern and regard for Craig Pouncey? You can make up your own mind.