Atlanta School Board Chairman Reuben McDaniel. /File photo
Atlanta School Board Chairman Reuben McDaniel. /File photo

The Atlanta Board of Education Ethics Commission has dismissed a complaint against Atlanta Board of Education Chairman Reuben McDaniel regarding leadership changes at North Atlanta High School.

The commission met Feb. 5 in a closed session and voted 5 to 1 to dismiss a complaint filed by David Durham, the husband of a teacher who resigned in 2012, according to commission documents. Durham’s wife, Amy Durham, resigned because the BOE would not approve her hiring.

Commission members Rebecca D. Pentz, Joy Berry; Cathy Henson, Sam Woodhouse and Emma Costello voted to dismiss the complaint.  Commission member Stephen Paul Cummings voted that the complaint should not be dismissed.

In a Feb. 8 letter to McDaniel, Atlanta Public Schools Executive Administrator Howard Grant wrote that the commission found that “no good and sufficient cause exists” that McDaniel violated APS Ethics Standards.

David Durham and former North Atlanta principal Mark MyGrant believe allegations of racism were the reason for the BOE’s delay. The complaint alleges McDaniel interfered with hiring decisions at the school. Emails obtained by the Buckhead Reporter last year show that McDaniel personally investigated claims of institutional racism at the school and sparred with District 4 BOE Member Nancy Meister about the issue.

McDaniel said he’s ready to move forward.

“I am pleased that we have an independent, professional ethics commission where citizens can bring concerns regarding the Atlanta Public Schools Board Members,” McDaniel wrote in an email. “I am grateful that this specific issue is behind me and we can move forward working to provide an environment for positive student achievement throughout the district.”

In a statement emailed to the Buckhead Reporter, David Durham said, “We were disappointed with, but not surprised by, the APS Ethics Commission’s decision.”

Dan Whisenhunt wrote for Reporter Newspapers from 2011 - 2014. He is the founder and editor of