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Kentucky AG's office does not find 'sufficient grounds' to remove Clark Co. school board member

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Posted at 4:43 PM, Oct 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-04 20:34:13-04

(LEX 18) — The Kentucky Attorney General's office says it will not remove Clark County Board of Education member Sherry Richardson, saying in an email to board members that there is not "sufficient grounds" to do so.

Richardson has been under investigation by the Kentucky Attorney General for months after a report was sent to them in February alleging that her family's business made more than $85,000 on a school-funded construction project.

In the office's closing letter, addressed to Clark County Board of Education chair Ashley Ritchie, assistant attorney general Jeremy Sylvester writes that Richardson said she wasn't aware of the sale of products by her business to the school system until the report was made to the attorney general's office in February 2021.

The closing letter states that, while Richardson is the treasurer and handles all accounts payable and financial reports, she does not handle the bulk of customer service and order of products. Her husband, Will Richardson, is primarily responsible for customer service, the letter states.

Kentucky statutes say that no person should be eligible to serve on a school board if they are at the time of their election "directly or indirectly" interested in the sale to the board of supplies or property.

The attorney general's offices' closing letter states that they are unaware of any evidence that Richardson's family's business, Howard’s Overhead Doors, and contractor Rising Sun Developing had "a secret profit-sharing arrangement." The letter adds that 2019 invoices from Howard’s Overhead Doors to Rising Sun were within $600 of the estimated amount accepted before Richardson began her term of office.

The report to the attorney general’s office was made by then-school board attorney Brian Thomas. In August, Richardson began the push to have Thomas removed as the board’s attorney, culminating in a motion last week to send him a 30-day notice.

Correction: A previous version of this story mistakenly said that Richardson was aware of the sale. The mistake has been fixed to reflect the typo.