Sheriff faces charges against his educational qualification

By Laura Ann Sills - bioemail

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - It is a story WTVM has been following for more than a year.  For the 4th time the Talbot County Sheriff has had to defend himself in court.

On Wednesday, he went in front of a judge to defend his educational qualifications.

The case centers on whether or not Sheriff Herman Howard graduated from high school. The sheriff says he has his GED and a certificate is in the hands of the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council.

But, the man on the other side of the lawsuit, Calvin Willis, who ran against Howard in 2008, claims that he and his lawyer have found that the Department of Education does not have a record of Howard's test or certificate.

The Department of Education did not keep a computer record back then and that is why Howard and his lawyer say his certificate on file is sufficient.

Willis' and his lawyer, Alfonzo Whitaker, believe the GED certificate on file is a fake.

Herman's lawyer, Andrew Dodgen, told me the first lawsuit included something about Howard's educational qualification and since it was challenged in a court of law and dismissed, that should be enough.

Wednesday, the judge told both sides they have 10 days to file a supplemental brief.

You must have a high school diploma or the equivalent to run for Sheriff in Georgia.

The judge is expected to rule on the suit in January.

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