The talk of Monroe County, Georgia, is centered around longtime school superintendent Anthony Pack, who released a statement late last week confirming he is gay.
The Georgia Voice reports Pack and his attorney, David Doer, were responding to reports that he used school computers to access and correspond on Grindr and other adult-oriented social media. Dyana Bagby wrote inThe Voice that although he is under investigation, “Pack insists he has violated no Board of Education policies or misused taxpayer money and instead this matter is a personal one that has been made public in an intrusive an embarrassing way to him and his family.”
According to reports, Pack and his attorney deny he has done anything wrong. “In the last four months my wife and I have been separated and quietly seeking an uncontested divorce,” Pack said in the statement. ”Regardless of my sexual orientation, the personal life of each member of my family has become a discussion point for many in the form of gossip. I have been forced by a journalist that prefers to report on gossip as opposed to news to reveal some facts about myself that I otherwise would hold privately between me, my wife, and my children.”
Bagby names the journalist as Will Davis, editor and publisher of the Monroe County Reporter, who the school official and his attorney accuse of bullying Pack into coming out. “Deep personal contemplation, prayer, and a desire to see my spouse as happy as she can be in her personal life, led me to realize that I am gay,” Pack continued. “I have tried to privately cope with accepting my sexual orientation as not definitive of my identity, but rather a small part of who I am as a father, a person, and a public figure.”
The Reporter and WMAZ-TV each reported receiving an anonymous tip that allegedly shows Pack exchanging sexually explicit photos and texts with another man on Grindr.
Davis told WMAZ-TV he stands by his story. “We stand by our reporting and the facts in our article, they speak for themselves. We’ve been fair and accurate and that is our job. The information was given to us and we reported it and verified it through our reporting.”
Davis reported that at the direction of Board of Education Chairman J. Ray Grant, the Monroe County sheriff’s office picked up Pack’s school-issued computer, cell phone and tablet on Monday (March 16) to analyze.
Grant was quoted by the Reporter as saying, “It is a malicious thing that has happened and I want to get to the bottom of it.
“And if it’s true,” added Grant, “it’s a problem.”
Pack addressed the issue of his sexuality directly in his statement: “Given all that various groups of people (races, gender, sexual orientation, etc.) have beens subjected to in past and even present years, one would think in today’s society those who bully individuals or various subgroups within our culture would show kindness and understanding to those who are different from us individually.”
Davis told The Voice in a voicemail, “I am not anti-gay and the issue is not Mr. Pack’s sexuality. It’s his job performance.” According to Davis, in January the school board extended Pack’s contract as superintendent for an additional year, through June 30, 2017.
Public records show Pack’s salary for 2014 was $151,800.60. Pack’s statement says he is currently on medical leave on an unrelated matter. Read the statement from Pack and his attorney below.