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 [email protected]
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.
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
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.
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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