J. Elbert Peters
1701 Jeannette Circle
Huntsville, AL 35816

Phone (256) 859-3186
FAX (256) 859-0048

Press Release Contact: J. Elbert Peters
January 11, 2002 (256) 859-3186

Johnson Cautions School Officials on Ethics

Dean Johnson, the Huntsville attorney who filed an ethics complaint against State Senator Roger Bedford last year, has written a letter to School Superintendent Ann Roy Moore about the conduct of school officials regarding the upcoming school tax referendum.

Johnson said he became concerned because of an action attributed to Superintendent Moore by The Huntsville Times in an article on December 19. The Times reported that "Moore asked the AEA to find out how much campaigning school officials need to do to secure the tax vote." Johnson said he had also heard reports that children were being asked by their teachers to lobby their parents to vote for the school tax.

In his letter to Moore, Johnson said, "It is my opinion that employees of taxpayer funded schools should not campaign during work time, nor should government funds, supplies or facilities be used to promote a position on the vote to be held on January 22, 2002. Furthermore, no person in the school system should attempt to use his or her official authority or position for the purpose of influencing the vote or the political action of any person in the upcoming election."

Johnson stated that his letter should "serve notice that violations of the applicable laws, rules, regulations, and ethical standards that come to my attention will be reported to the appropriate authorities."

Johnson sent a copy of his letter to School Board Attorney J. R. Brooks and to the Board secretary for distribution to the School Board members.

A copy of Johnson's letter is attached.