Judge throws school board member out of office for failing to graduate

Chad Murray
Chad Murray

A Kentucky school board member who failed to earn a high school diploma was ousted by a judge Thursday.

Chad Murray was re-elected to the Gallatin County school board in 2016 despite questions raised about his education by the state attorney general’s office. The attorney general in January asked Murray to resign from the school board since his diploma was invalid.

When Murray refused, the office turned to the court to remove Murray because Kentucky law requires a board member to complete at least the 12th grade.

Circuit Judge Richard A. Brueggemann rejected Murray’s attempt to stay on the board, deciding enough evidence existed to warrant an immediate decision in the case without trial.

The judge noted that Murray admitted his initial claims of graduating from Loveland Baptist School were false. Murray left school before graduation. He submitted a purported 2011 transcript and diploma from unaccredited Jefferson Online High School to a woman, Kitty Carpenter, at Loveland Baptist School who admitted backdating a diploma to 1994 for Murray.

Murray initially was elected in 2012.

Attorney General Andy Beshear issued a statement saying, “Today’s ruling removes Mr. Murray from an office he was unqualified to hold under Kentucky law. The Attorney General is statutorily required to prosecute actions on behalf of the Commonwealth for usurpation of offices of local school boards. The law is the law, and everyone must follow it. My office thoroughly handled this matter within the guidelines of the law to ensure the school board member and the citizens of Gallatin County had due process.”