The Lee County Board of Education voted on Tuesday night to launch an investigation into whether a photo of Democratic member Patrick Kelly engaged in sexual activity violated any of its ethics policies.
The motion, made by Republican Christine Hilliard and seconded by Kelly himself, passed unanimously.
The issue did not initially appear on the board’s published agenda, but was added at the meeting’s start. During the public comment portion of the meeting, Lee County GOP Chairman Jim Womack reiterated comments he made before the Lee County Board of Commissioners on Monday night in which he called for Kelly’s resignation over the photo, which depicts legal activity between consenting adults in a private setting.
Womack explicitly tied his call for an inquiry to a similar investigation conducted into his wife’s activities in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6, claiming “inconsistency in how the board manages allegations of misconduct or board policy violations” and saying that Republican board member Sherry Lynn Womack had been “subjected to vicious public condemnation.”
“She received no apology or logical explanation for being subjected to this abuse,” he said.
For her part, Womack after the motion to investigate Kelly had been made and seconded said she saw “no value in discussing the matter any further” in public. Later, at the meeting’s end, she seemed to reference the situation, noting “when you come out and you say an eye for an eye or a tooth for a tooth, we will leave Lee County blind and toothless.”
Kelly made no comment on the issue during the meeting.
The other individuals who made public comments either supported Kelly or criticized the board for allowing many non county residents to speak in defense of Womack at its February meeting.
“I’m highly disgusted that this is what it’s come to. What a man wants to do with a consenting person behind closed doors is his business,” said Neil Rosser, noting that Kelly had been consistent in responding to emails and questions from the public while not all other board members had done the same. “I feel like what has happened on this board is you want to go after some of the people on this board who called for an investigation on you, and it’s becoming a clown show for the whole county.”
Cheri Vollbracht didn’t reference the call for an investigation into Kelly, but did say she was “very disturbed” by the February meeting’s public comment section, which she called “a pre-meditated, ad nauseum, self-serving Sherry Lynn Womack pep rally” and calling for changes to the board’s public comment policy.
“Student comments should always be heard, I was disturbed by comments suggesting students should not have a voice,” she said. “Comments need to be limited to those who are Lee County residents.”
As an advocate in the anti-sexual violence movement, it is clear to me that this photo was shared without the consent of not only Mr. Kelly but also the other adult in the video. This itself should be considered an act of sexual violence and those who are circulating the photo should be held criminally responsible. I hope that law enforcement makes the right decision in re-opening the case since Mr. Kelly did make a report.
Be careful what you wish for. If Mr. Kelly provides the investigating authorities his internet browsing history for the last 36 months I am sure it will not reflect well on him. The website in question (where the photo/info was posted) is probably not the only place where Mr.Kelly is a member.
“I feel like what has happened on this board is you want to go after some of the people on this board who called for an investigation on you, and it’s becoming a clown show for the whole county.”
Yep, another Republican Clown Show, it’s so mean-spirited, but that’s what I expect from them these days.
I’m glad Kelly agreed to show these nasty Womacks how he can deal with it, despite the embarrassment…..
Like others have commented in the previous article, I’d like to know how someone found this pic online, since it would likely have been restricted to specific websites, and would not be located by Google photo search?
Wow, it seems like even Sherri is embarrassed by Jim’s antics. I wonder how long that couple is going to stay together after all this. Jim just made Sherri even more of a laughingstock than she was before.
Make no mistake about it, she was fully aware he was going to make those comments prior to the meeting. And, Mr. Kelly is not fooled by her friendly overtures asking him not to resign. She is a sociopath and pathological liar. The Womacks are not anywhere near as smart as they think they are. But what do you expect from someone whose own kid had her arrested once.
All unnecessary expense and waste of our tax dollars…
Again mind your own business,and stick to the education of our children ..
Y’all graduated high school many years ago !!!!
I have not seen the photo but what I am seeing is people not pulling together for the good of our county, town. Beginning to look a lot like the white house
KC O’Dea just made Jim Womack look like the idiot that he is on his radio program.
I’ve read that this type of thinking (un-American hyper Americanism) has it’s modern roots in Charles Lindburgh’s America First Movement – a borderline fascist organization that was popular in the US until the real extent of Nazism in Europe came to be known. It’s like an ideology of complete destruction of anything that is different, just because it is different.
When most people are self actualizing and running for office, they want to do good things, but folks like this are negatively oriented to hurt and destroy people who they continually label as enemies.