The Davison Board of Education president, Karen Conover, released a statement about current board member Matthew Smith's recent conduct.
The statement follows his sentencing to probation Tuesday in a Genesee County courtroom.
Smith pled guilty to a malicious use of telecommunications charge on Nov. 22, 2021 after making a threatening phone call to the Houghton County clerk.
Here is the statement given to TV5:
“The Davison Board of Education is extremely disappointed in Trustee Smith's conduct in light of the Oakland County Prosecutor's and Judge William Crawford's statements in open court during Trustee Smith's January 11, 2022, criminal sentencing hearing. The Oakland County Prosecuting Attorney stated: “Judge, I will never understand how the defendant could pick up the phone and call a complete stranger and say the most vile things towards another person” Judge Crawford later responded to Trustee Smith's explanation of his misbehavior by saying: “If right now I had to decide whether or not you made those statements regarding the poisoning of a dog I have no reason to doubt Kelly’s credibility but you do have an issue with yours.” This is unacceptable and does not meet Davison Community School standards.
Neither the District nor the Board has the authority to remove an elected board member from the board. A board member can only be removed from office by a vote (election or recall), resignation, loss of residency, conviction of a felony or removal by the Governor. The Davison School Board Censured Mr. Smith in December following his guilty plea to the charge of Malicious Use of a Telecommunications Device. Mr. Smith was also removed from all committee assignments and is prohibited from holding an officer's seat on the board. This is the maximum penalty the Board can impose according to law and board policy.
Clearly, making a harassing phone call and being dishonest about it does not represent the values of the Davison Community Schools and sends a very poor message to our students. School board members should be held to the highest standard of conduct and the Board is very disappointed with Mr. Smith's behavior as reflected by our censure. We are also appalled with the way Mr. Smith has conducted himself since being sentenced. Mr. Smith continues to say he has not been convicted but this assertion is inconsistent with Judge Crawford's words during sentencing: “Matthew Michael Smith, having been CONVICTED of the crime of Malicious Use of a Telecommunications Device by way of a guilty plea on November 22, 2021…” While Mr. Smith's conviction may be held in abeyance and expunged following his probation, that does not erase his underlying misbehavior.”