New Questions Arise About Independence Principal’s Past

New Questions Arise About Independence Principal’s Past

Dr.Todd Campbell, the Independence High School principal since 2008, may have had as many as three DUI convictions in addition to a pending DUI charge.

Since this story broke, numerous concerned residents reached out to us to share their personal experiences in dealing with Dr. Campbell.  Two Williamson Source readers, who do not want their names shared publicly for safety reasons, claim Campbell told them he was convicted on charges of driving under the influence two separate times while he lived in Kentucky.  They say he had both of these charges expunged from his record before moving to Tennessee.  We conducted multiple interviews, researched all available public records, and attempted to contact everyone involved in an effort to verify their stories. If you have any information please reach out to zachary.harmuth@williamsonsource.com

While a background check did confirm Campbell used to live in Kentucky, there is no public record of him having ever been charged with any crime during his time there.  However, statewide records for misdemeanors from the Kentucky Court of Justice only go back five years.  Both of the alleged DUI’s would have happened prior to that time frame.

In Kentucky a person can apply to have a misdemeanor, such as a DUI, expunged after five years for a $100 fee. An expunged conviction will not show up on background checks or in public records.

From WUXP My TV 30 Nashville

The sources, who met Campbell when he was Assistant Principal at Franklin High School (2001 to 2008), say they witnessed him drive many times after spending hours drinking.

“I honestly always questioned how he was able to hold onto his position at Franklin High and was beyond shocked when he moved on as principal at Independence,” one said. “The funny thing was he would be out drinking and tell people who he was and what he did for a living. He basically lived a double life. He used to brag about having gotten his records expunged.”

“I’m guessing he must be fairly good at his job if he has not had so much as a slap on the wrist.  Or they just don’t know what kind of guy he is . . . He can be incredibly charming when he wants or needs to be.”

The source also said that, as they saw it, what “kind of guy” Campbell is was demonstrated when he told them he had a suspended license, and they realized he routinely drove to and from work at Franklin High School and then out to restaurants or bars illegally.

In May 2008- two months before his promotion to principal at Independence- he was charged for the second time in 10 years with driving with a suspended license. (The charge was dismissed with court costs paid for by the defendant, instead of the State, which can imply some kind of deal was reached.)

Campbell, after attending Western Kentucky University, earned a Masters and Doctorate from Trevecca Nazarene University. He then taught English for five years, from 1996 to 2001, at Rose Park Middle School in Nashville.

Dr. Todd Campbell Timeline

Todd Campbell Timeline

During this time, in March 1998, he was charged for the first time of driving on a suspended license. Like the later charge, this was dismissed.

In 2001, Williamson County Schools hired him as an Assistant Principal at Franklin High.

This was most likely the only time his background was checked, according to Rebecca Sharber, WCS superintendent in 2000-2001 and from 2004 to 2008.

todd-campbell-article

School board policy says that any person seeking employment with the Williamson County Schools is required to make a full disclosure of any prior criminal record (misdemeanor or felony)  and submit to a background check.  It also states that a prospective employee needs to provide proof of an expungement within 60 days of hire or face termination. It also says that anyone who lies about a previous conviction will “forfeit” their office.

Sharber said she does not remember if Campbell told her about any expunged charges.

Campbell assumed his current position, as principal at Independence High School, in August 2008. He was promoted by Sharber, who left WCS in December of that year.

“I don’t remember much, especially details,” Sharber said. “That has been well over seven years ago. I do not remember anything about the interview to promote Dr. Campbell. My remembrance is that he had performed well as an assistant principal and I thought he would do well as a principal.”

Dr. David Heath took over as interim superintendent in January 2009.

A few months later, in May 2009, Campbell pleaded guilty to a DUI following an April arrest.  He received a year of probation and had his license suspended for the duration. The Williamson Source was unable to find out what, if any, discipline he faced from WCS for the conviction.

WCS policy on ethical practices for administrators sets guidelines for behavior but not punishment for transgressions:

“Policy 1. The professional school administrator constantly upholds honor and dignity of his profession in all his actions and relations with pupils, colleagues, school board members, and the public.
Policy 2. The professional school administrator obeys local, state, and national laws; holds himself to high ethical and moral standards and gives loyalty to his country and to the cause of democracy and liberty.”

Heath, who was replaced by Dr. Mike Looney in December 2009, would have been directly responsible for deciding discipline, if any, for the incident.

He could not be reached for comment.  Looney, who kept Heath on as Chief Academic Officer until at least the end of 2011, when asked what action was taken said only that Campbell’s 2009 DUI charge happened before he was hired as Superintendent.

We have reached out to Superintendent Dr. Looney, WCS Communications Manager Carol Birdsong and Dr. Campbell, but have not received any replies.

Dr. Campbell is scheduled to appear in Davidson County court on June 28th for a DUI charge he received on Oct 2015. The arrest warrant can be viewed here.

Williamson County Schools said that, “The district is aware of the charge and is waiting for the court to adjudicate the matter. We will reserve judgement until such time.”

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15 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    A double life is an understatement!! I am embarrassed to say I “dated” him in early 2000 only to find out he was married.

    1. Wendy

      I’ll leave my name :). I worked in the school system years ago and knew of things that happened ON SCHOOL GROUNDS while he was Franklin Principal. And it was inappropriate to happen on school grounds and the school system was made aware. Then he got promoted. (???) I know for a fact of his drinking and driving on a regular basis at that time (yes in Antioch) so seeing these reports is no surprise, though I had hoped things would have changed. I don’t care how great a principal he was, he’s not the example you want for your kids. YES. We all make mistakes. I don’t judge as an individual. I’ve made PLENTY of mistakes. And if I were a principal when I made them, I would have expected to lose my job. We all have our flaws. But drinking and driving is completely NOT ok as the principal of a high school. What does that say to the teens that look up to him? And since WHEN does character not matter? Saying those other girls should keep personal matters out of it is ridiculous. It speaks to his CHARACTER. Which, in my opinion, is something that should ALWAYS be considered when it comes to leading my kids.

  2. anonymous2

    I did too. Embarrassed but I didn’t know. Did you live in Antioch? Seems that’s where he liked to hang out so as not to get caught

  3. Anonymous

    Try last year. No wedding ring and no disclosure. I did my own digging.. Professional and personal life need intervention.

  4. Dana Stewart

    It amazes me that these sources won’t reveal names. If you make public statements then you should have enough decency to give your name what are you afraid? You have attacked and accused a public figure people don’t go after teachers having sex with students without a name attacking them so disclose your name! He must be doing something right received highest honor of Principal of the Year. If you read the WCS policies you will find they are responsible for their conduct only during school hours and interactions with students,teachers and other administration and parents! You are and so is the above article dealing with incidents outside school.

    1. JW

      Principal of the Year is paperwork. He’s not all that; he hires smart people to cover for him. Campbell’s past transgressions were covered by his friend in HR.

  5. Ann Davidson

    I agree with Dana Stewart! People need to realize how much good he has done for that school, students and staff. That school has experienced 100% improvement in staff turnover since Dr Campbell took over and that has to say a lot for him when you don”t have to hire 10-20 new teachers each school year which was not the case with previous administration. A happy staff makes a better school for students and employees,.

  6. Scared

    Reality is… people are scared of him. He’s bully. Get rid of him. You CAN’T tell me that there isn’t a BETTER option out there! He’s had THREE DUI’s. He has huge character issues. If this were a football draft, he’s fall out of the draft for CHARACTER ISSUES! HEY WCS, how can you continue your silence? Crazy! Ask the students of the school (I have one there!) and they think he’s a complete narcissist and horrible principal because he DOES NOTHING!!!

    1. JW

      Yeah, Campbell and his accomplishments/credentials look good on paper, but his life is a trip; things that neither his excellent credentials/accomplishments nor his PhD can fix. His troubled heart has not only torn apart his career and his family, but other people’s lives in the process too. Let’s be honest: Campbell is a thug and a bully. Ask current staff, teachers, and former employees and they will tell you privately in great detail how Dr. Campbell bullied them into submission or they were terminated or reassigned or given bad evaluations. Even after teachers reported Campbell’s repeated sexual advances, WCS was afraid to terminate him. Campbell’s friend worked in central office and covered the transgressions, often quoting that Dr. Campbell is/was “well connected”. Now that his friend is deceased, Campbell is left to face his transgressions/demons alone which means termination as he should have had a long time ago. While I hate it for him and his family, Todd, like all of us, has to reap what he’s sown. He shouldn’t act like he doesn’t know what’s going on; he’s just reaping a whirlwind. Did he honestly think he would get away with all of that? There are many people, current and especially former employees, who are thinking “it finally happened”. Now WCS is forced to take action and to take this single opportunity to let Dr. Campbell resign or terminate him; Campbell’s repeated “behavior” is reprehensible and immoral, especially while leading/directing the lives of impressionable children/students. Now Dr. Campbell has to repair he and his family’s lives just like the countless others whose lives Campbell ripped apart without any remorse/consciousness.

  7. Jared Holland

    What a terribly written article. All I take from this article is conjecture and the stance of guilty until proven innocent. The fact that the author actually asks for people to send in more “information” tells me that the author is making presumptions based on gossip and not solid info. I have no clue if the additional facts presented in the article are true, but to publish them without vetting them out is shameful and bad journalism.

    I will fully disclose that Todd Campbell is a friend and did a lot for me as an assistant principal while at Franklin. I’m saddened that all this has come to pass and hope he’s able to get things back on track. That said, this article is crap and the author should be ashamed for having written it.

    Jared Holland
    FHS Class of ’03

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