Friday, February 12, 2010

Amanda Duboise Watkins' Political Connections

Amanda Watkins has been accused of having sex with a 15 year-old former student. Actually, from early accounts of the arrest, the 38 year-old Mrs. Watkins was literally caught with her knickers down. Now the Sheffield Board of Education is refusing to name the infamous teacher in public reports, and a reporter with the Associated Press in Montgomery is asking why.

Mrs. Watkins' father has been active in North Alabama and State politics since his daughter's birth. In 1972, Delmer Duboise, then a resident of Phil Campbell, ran for delegate to the Democratic National Convention. By 1975, Duboise had been elected to the Franklin County Board of Education. As a member of the Board, Duboise prided himself on his attempts to halt the cash-strapped Board from excess spending. In fact, Duboise was so vocal in his criticism of the Superintendent, few doubted his next move would be an attempt to unseat then Superintendent Jimmy Clements.

By 1977, Duboise had been appointed Franklin County Uni-Serv Director of the Alabama Education Association , becoming friends with Paul Hubbert. In September 1978, Duboise abruptly resigned as Chairman of the Franklin County Democratic Party; the next month saw him ensconced as the administrative assistant to Jim Folsom Jr., then head of the Public Service Commission.

In 1980, Delmer Duboise saw his first political setback when opponents of Folsom presented evidence that the administrative assistant was using a PSC vehicle to travel from Montgomery to his home in Russellville. Duboise's political aspirations hit an even greater snag in 1982 when six black staff members of the PSC accused him of "racially discriminatory action."

By 1984, Duboise was back home in Russellville and seeking to become the first director of the Russellville Industrial Development Board. After not making the final cut, Duboise decided to return to the realm of education. At that time, Northwest Community College, then a separate entity from its sister school in the Shoals, was in need of a Public Relations Director. Sources say Duboise used his influence with Paul Hubbert to secure the position. For the next few years, Delmer Duboise's star was again on the rise.

Tomorrow: How he earned the name "Delmer Dubious"