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State Rep. Jon Draud Chosen As Education Commissioner

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - The Kentucky Board of Education unanimously selected state Representative Jon Draud (R-Edgewood) as education commissioner Sunday.

Draud is a retired school superintendent of the Ludlow school district in northern Kentucky. He beat out three other finalists for the job, said spokeswoman Lisa Gross.

The Kentucky education commissioner post has been vacant for almost a year. The previous commissioner, Gene Wilhoit, resigned to take a job with a Washington, D.C.-based education advocacy group.

In May, the state school board hired Illinois educator Barbara Erwin, but she resigned from the $220,000 post shortly after amid controversy over errors on her resume and criticism of her leadership in past jobs. The hiring process has drawn scrutiny since Erwin's hiring and resignation.

Gov.-elect Steve Beshear had asked the board to reopen the search nationally, hire a new search firm and seek additional candidates so it would have a broader pool of people to draw from.

Chairman Joe Brothers said the board's decision had nothing to do with Beshear. Instead, Brothers said, board members feared the integrity of the search would have been jeopardized had it scrapped its current batch of finalists.

The board interviewed three other finalists besides Draud: Richard Hughes, retired Hardin County school superintendent; Larry Vick, the Owensboro school superintendent; and Jim Warford, former superintendent of a Florida school district and a former chancellor of the Florida Department of Education.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-11-25-07 1729EST


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