Longtime school board member Errol Kerr has been appointed to serve on the city’s school board after Kevin Michael Henry was rendered ineligible due to a past conviction that surfaced during a background check.
Passaic County superintendent of schools Robert Davis said he made the decision to appoint Kerr on Thursday morning.
“When a member is disqualified to serve as a member of the board under these circumstances the county superintendent is required to fill the position. I’ve made the decision to appoint Mr. Errol Kerr who was the next highest vote getter in the recent election,” said Davis.
Kerr came fourth in the November elections after Henry. Kerr said his reaction to the appointment is mixed. He sympathized with Henry. “The people in general gave their support to Mr. Henry,” said Kerr.
“Kerr lost. He lost the election. People didn’t want him,” said Henry. “At least I should be given the opportunity in due process.”
Henry has said he does not believe his past offenses rise to the level which would render him ineligible for office. The state’s department of education conducted a fingerprint background check which brought up his past criminal records. The state notified state-appointed district superintendent Donnie Evans yesterday, just hours before the swearing in ceremony, that Henry was disqualified from taking office.
Evans bore the brunt of the blame for the disqualification being on the receiving end of a verbal racial epithets laced attack from Henry last night.
“They’re telling them their vote is no good. They threw their votes away,” said Henry. He said the 2,687 votes that he received in November is being discarded. He said he intends to meet with his lawyer this afternoon to see what can be done. Ronald Fava, former Passaic County Prosecutor, who Henry said is his attorney, could not be reached for comments on Thursday morning.
Ker said he is a veteran board member who will put to use his years of experience to better the school system.
“While I’m disappointed Mr. Henry is not going to be able to serve, I welcome Mr. Kerr back,” said school board president Christopher Irving.