Dexter Smith, chairman of the Knox County Board of Education, had someone take a GED test for him at the Jackson County Adult Education Center on March 30, Kentucky State Police Trooper Shane Jacobs said Wednesday.
Jacobs told the Herald-Leader that police began an investigation into allegations that Smith committed perjury about two weeks ago.
“We have since confirmed through our investigation that Mr. Smith did not take the GED exam at the Jackson County Adult Education Center on March 30,” Jacobs said. “He said he did. He’s got a GED in hand with his name on it.”
“Another individual took that test for him,” Jacobs said. “Through our investigation we know that.”
WYMT-TV reported that an employee with Jackson County Adult Education admitted she took the test for Smith, according to an attorney representing Jackson County Schools. The employee retired, the television station reported.
Meanwhile, CT Turner, a senior director of GED Testing Service, said the service had suspended all testing at the Jackson County center pending a full investigation.
Jacobs said Smith had not been criminally charged as of Wednesday afternoon.
“We’re waiting on the commonwealth’s attorney to allow us to present this case to a Knox County grand jury, to proceed with a perjury first-degree charge,” Jacobs said in an interview.
WYMT reported that in March community members questioned whether Smith had graduated from high school, a requirement to run for school board in Kentucky.
“I have a transcript and a diploma. ... Then, when I was questioned about it, I went ahead and got the GED on top of it, so I have both,” Smith told WYMT in an interview earlier this month. “So, now I have a diploma, and the GED.”
Smith could not be reached for comment on Wednesday afternoon.
In March, Smith was among the school board members in Knox County who voted not to renew the contract of Superintendent Kelly Sprinkles.
The 3-2 vote came over the strong objections of some parents supporting Sprinkles at a special board meeting, a board member said at the time.
The Kentucky Office of Education Accountability last year substantiated allegations against Sprinkles, Dexter Smith and Merrill Smith.
Among other things, the agency said Sprinkles violated state law by requesting emergency teaching certifications for two teachers even though there were other qualified applicants.
Sprinkles said he did not knowingly violate any rules.
The OEA also found that Dexter and Merrill Smith had had improper involvement in personnel matters and in the day-to-day operation of schools, according to Herald-Leader archives.