BOE’s D-4 rep latest charged with revealing grand jury secrets
By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Escambia County Board of Education member Cindy Jackson has become the fourth person — the second county school board member — in just over five weeks to be arrested under orders from District Attorney Steve Billy in the wake of the board’s 4-3 rejection of a new contract for Superintendent of Education Michele McClung.
Brewton attorney Earnest White, who is representing Jackson, said he would have no comment on the arrest at this time, except to say, “it’s just part of the continuing mess the DA has going on in Escambia County.”
Jackson, 72 and in the early stages of her third six-year term on the board, is charged with revealing grand jury secrets.
That same charge was lodged October 27 against District 6 BOE representative Sherry Digmon, who is also publisher and co-owner of Atmore News. A reporter for the local newspaper and a school system bookkeeper were also arrested on that date, on the same charges.
Both Jackson and Digmon, who has also been indicted for alleged ethics violations and is facing possible impeachment, each voted against a new contract for McClung, as did District 1’s Kevin Hoomes and District 5’s Loumeek White. To date there has been no legal action taken against either man.
In late October the district attorney had Jackson’s and Digmon’s phones seized in an effort to prove the two, along with Hoomes and White, met illegally by phone and “conspired” to not show up for a September meeting, then to vote against a new contract for McClung on October 12.
Jackson and her husband, retired United States Marine Corps Col. Charles Jackson, live in the McCall community. She reportedly surrendered Monday morning, December 4, to sheriff’s deputies at White’s Brewton offices.
Jackson worked for more than 28 years as a secretary and bookkeeper at W.S. Neal Middle School. Since she became a member of the board of education, she has earned Master Honor Roll certification from the Alabama Association of School Boards (AASB). Such certification, accorded to Jackson in 2020, is the highest level granted by AASB.
She is also a certified volunteer firefighter with McCall Volunteer Fire Department, a certified Alabama Fire College instructor, and a CPR instructor.