GIPS Board Member-Elect Katie Mauldin delivers ‘proof,’ calls for end of investigation
GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - After receiving the most votes in the November election for Ward C of the Grand Island Public School Board, Katie Mauldin now says she has provided what she feels to be ample proof that she does in fact live in Ward C.
Grand Island Public Schools first notified Mauldin of their intention to vacate her seat on Monday during the regularly scheduled school board meeting. The official notice claimed that Mauldin did not live in Ward C, but instead lived in Ward A. It’s a finding that Mauldin has refuted since it first came out, and on Thursday, she took another step toward proving her residency.
On Tuesday, Mauldin received an e-mail from GIPS Board President Lisa Albers, inviting her to prove her residency under oath at the next scheduled GIPS school board meeting, which is currently planned for January 12th. However, Hall County Election Commissioner confirmed to Local4 that the term for newly-elected school board members is set to begin on January 5th.
Local4 then sought further clarification from GIPS regarding the e-mail from Lisa Albers. We inquired if Mauldin could only submit her proof of residency under oath in the confines of a school board meeting, or if she could provide the information at any time.
The district released a statement to help clarify.
Mauldin informed Local4 that she had no intention to wait until the board meeting to prove herself. She claimed she had nothing to hide. She has since taken 18 forms of proof of address to three different agencies in Grand Island. Her first stop was the Hall County Election Commissioner’s Office, where they signed, sealed and notarized a document stating that Mauldin voluntarily provided the documents and they have been received.
“She voluntarily came into the office and provided a packet of information that shows her name with the address that she filed at on numerous documents including the voter registration form that we had given her as well as hunting license, credit card statements, various bills that she’s received, pay stubs,” Hall County Election Commissioner Tracy Overstreet said.
Her next stop was to the source of the issue - Grand Island Public Schools. She voluntarily hand-delivered the 18 documents of proof to the district and again asked for written acknowledgement of them receiving the documents. That acknowledgement came from GIPS Recording Secretary Angela Dibbert.
Lastly, Mauldin paid a visit Thursday afternoon to the Hall County Sheriff’s Office. On Friday, Hall County District Attorney Marty Klein confirmed to Local4 that his office is investigating Mauldin for election fraud on the above claims, but again Mauldin delivered what she believes to be the necessary documents. The sheriff’s office also provided a written and signed statement that the documents were received.
While Mauldin feels she has now made every exhaustive effort to prove she is in fact a resident of Ward C, she still doesn’t feel satisfied.
“There’s still a weight on me that we are even having to deal with this at this point is absolutely ridiculous,” she said. “I feel harassed. I feel like there is hatred coming from this. It’s made me sick. My anxiety is through the roof. I’ve barely been able to eat. I want this to just be done and be over with.”
On top of Thursday’s developments, on Friday GIPS held its official on-boarding of its new school members with representatives from the Nebraska Association of School Boards in attendance. Mauldin, however, had her invitation to Friday’s on-boarding of new members canceled by board president Lisa Albers. Mauldin told Local4 she feels she missed out on what was supposed to be one of the happier days of her life and hopes those who voted for her will continue to support her.
“I’ve not lied,” Mauldin said. “Everything I’ve done is truthful. I’ve provided everything I can provide. Hopefully they stick around and support me through all of this, and hopefully the end outcome is that I’m excited to fill my seat come January 5th.”
As for what’s next - it’s a waiting game.
The Hall County Election Commissioner’s Office is still in the midst of their review, but it’s a review Overstreet says she’s hoping to have done prior to the tentative January 5th board meeting. Grand Island Public Schools via a statement also says they are waiting on the results of an investigation, but since they’ve confirmed the district’s internal investigation has been concluded, that comment is presumably referring to the Hall County Attorney’s Office investigation.
Mauldin told Local4 that she can only hope those in charge of these investigations do what’s right, not only for her, but for the school district, the students and the teachers. She’s asking them to simply look at the evidence she’s provided alongside the evidence they’ve collected.
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