Jailed Breathitt schools superintendent resigns

Breathitt County schools Superintendent Arch Turner, who is currently jailed on federal vote-buying charges, has resigned.

Turner notified state Education Commissioner Terry Holliday by letter that he was resigning effective Thursday. The Department of Education received the letter Friday.

Holliday had asked Turner to resign last month.

Turner had not responded by the time a federal judge revoked his bond on the federal charges on Tuesday and ordered him jailed that day. Turner had been free on bond until then.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert E. Wier concluded that Turner had had improper contact with another man charged in the case. Wier said Turner was likely to try to influence witnesses if left free.

Turner is charged with conspiracy, providing money to buy votes, trying to get witness to not give information to authorities or to lie, and lying to an FBI agent.

He could face up to 20 years if convicted. His trial is scheduled to begin July 30.

The Breathitt County school board will select the next superintendent, said Lisa Gross, spokeswoman for the state Department of Education.

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