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EXCLUSIVE: Nkromo Ineligible for School Board Seat (UPDATE 2)
(APN) ATLANTA -- Kwabena Nkromo, a community activist who recently announced his intention to run in the November 2011 Special Election for a vacancy in the Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education District 2 seat, is not eligible to run for the seat, Atlanta Progressive News has learned.
In order to be eligible to run for the seat, the APS Charter, Section 2-102(a)(2) states, a candidate must, "Be a resident of the city and, if seeking to represent a Board district, be a resident of the Board district for which he or she seeks to qualify and represent for at least one year immediately preceding the date of filing a notice of candidacy to seek office."
The filing of notice of candidacy is taking place this week, Wednesday, August 03, through Friday, August 05.
Therefore, in order to be eligible, a candidate would have to have lived in BOE District 2--the equivalent of City Council Districts 3 and 4--since August 05, 2010, using a conservative estimate based on filing this Friday.
However, Nkromo lived at least part of the last year in the home of his then-girlfriend in the Poncey-Highlands neighborhood, outside of BOE District 2.
When Nkromo and his ex-girlfriend broke up in April 2011, it became a bit of public spectacle, causing Nkromo to release a public statement in June 2011. [UPDATE: The statement was posted by Nkromo on his personal blog and was purported to be a joint statement from the ex-girlfriend and Nkromo. However, the ex-girlfriend has since told APN that it was not a joint statement and that she did not authorize the statement to be released.]
According to a copy of the statement obtained by Atlanta Progressive News, Nkromo lived with the ex-girlfriend on at least two occasions, including most recently from September 2010 to April 2011.
"Kwabena resided at [the] home in the Poncey-Highland neighborhood twice, once during the earlier initial separation from his wife at the time in 2009 and secondly in September 2010 prior to the eventual divorce. Kwabena’s final stay in [the] home ended in April 2011," the statement said.
Nkromo also admits in the statement to distributing copies of privately recorded home videos of a sexual nature following the break-up.
"Both [the ex-girlfriend] and Kwabena engaged in extreme over reactions to perceived and real emotional or financial injuries that followed their break up, resulting in behaviors and actions such as efforts by [the ex-girlfriend] to sabotage a business which was Kwabena’s sole source of income and Kwabena’s release of intimate images and digital videos of their private sex life in response," the statement said.
According to one source at City Hall, Nkromo--apparently in retribution to [the ex-girlfriend]--sent copies of privately recorded sex tapes involving Nkromo and [the ex-girlfriend] to numerous Atlanta civic leaders, including Members of the City Council of Atlanta.
Nkromo appears to have deleted the public statement, dated June 26, 2011, from his blog, The Brow Tutor. However, APN accessed the blog post on June 26 and saved a copy in APN's internal archives at that time.
As recently as yesterday, Nkromo sent out a mass email declaring his intention to run for the BOE District 2 seat.
"I am running for the District 2 Atlanta Board of Education seat, recently vacated by Khaatim El. My main campaign themes are as follows: Better Representation - listening and executing the will of constituents, along with my leadership insights; Better Cooperation of the Board - working with the new Chairperson Brenda Muhammad for a unified solution to scandal and pathway forward; A Better Future for our Children - Advocating for 'horticultural literacy' as a new requirement for graduation and preparing our pupils for the green economy and 21st century workplace," Nkromo wrote.
"If you are supportive of my efforts, please take a moment to sign the petition at the link below and forward it to your neighbors. If you live within Atlanta Public School District 2, please indicate so in the Comment section of the petition. Many thanks!"
Meanwhile, qualifying began today, and one candidate, Dwanda Farmer, has already filed according to a Facebook post.
As previously reported by APN, other candidates who have expressed interest in running include Byron Amos, Angela Brown, Ayana Gabriel, and Michael Jeter.
APN has also learned that certain Atlanta politicos assembled on Monday to begin interviewing potential candidates.
State Sen. Vincent Fort, Atlanta City Councilman CT Martin (District 10), and campaign operative Mitzi Bickers organized the series of candidate interviews.
Additionally, former Councilwoman "Able" Mable Thomas, Councilman Ivory Young (District 3), and activist Joe Beasley also showed up to sit in on the candidate interviews.
(END / 2011)
EDITOR'S NOTE: On January 04, 2012, this article was updated to remove the name of Nkromo's ex-girlfriend. As already noted, her identity was not relevant to the story, except insasmuch that APN had received a joint press release purportedly from the ex-girlfriend and Nkromo. As already noted, APN had already issued a correction to note that the ex-girlfriend stated she did not author the press release; however, despite her statements to APN that she was satisfied with this correction, she proceeded to have her attorney send a letter threatening a libel lawsuit to APN. Originally, this article contained the name of the ex-girlfriend.
In APN's history of nearly one thousand original full-length news articles, APN has never removed the name of a person from an article, despite requests to do so from the affected individuals. This has included persons arrested who did not want their names in print, or persons who ran for office and later regreted it and wanted it scrubbed from the Internet. APN's Board of Directors discussed the present matter and decided that the name could be removed, but only because of the unique circumstances of this case. Specifically, if Nkromo had not issued the apparently false press release, the name would not have been reported in the first place. Because the ex-girlfriend stated that the two articles were causing negative impacts on her professional career, as APN's Editor, I decided to use my discretion to err on the side of protecting a person who had been victimized by Mr. Nkromo; and not because there was any legal merit to her attorney's claims of libel.
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