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New DPS board director has criminal history

Posted: 4:57 PM, Apr 13, 2016
Updated: 2016-04-14 00:50:31-04
New DPS board director has criminal history

The woman chosen as the new Denver Public Schools' board director has a criminal history, according to records obtained by Denver7.

At a special meeting Tuesday, MiDian Holmes was named the new Board Director for Northeast Denver to  complete a four-year term vacated by Board Member Landri Taylor set to expire in 2017.

Court records show Holmes was charged with child abuse in 2006. Records also show that charge was dismissed and she pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of child abuse, no injury involving neglect.

She was charged with wrongs to minors in 2005, but that case was also dismissed.

She was arrested in 2008 for a traffic misdemeanor.

She has a history of traffic violations including speeding and driving with expired license plates.

On Wednesday evening, Denver Public Schools Board President Anne Rowe, along with the Board of Education, released the following statement: 

While we have directly responded to a number of inquiries today regarding our newly selected board member, MiDian Holmes, we would like to take this opportunity to respond in writing.

Prior to Ms. Holmes being appointed to the board seat representing NE Denver, she informed board members about a situation in which she was accused of neglecting her 2-year-old daughter. Here is what she shared with board members:

When this occurred more than a decade ago, Ms. Holmes was the single mother of three young children under the age of 10. After seeing her two oldest children off for the day, and while her young daughter was sleeping, Ms. Holmes showered in preparation for her work day. When she emerged from the bathroom, she discovered her daughter was no longer in bed and the apartment door was ajar. She ran outside to search for her child and a neighbor, noticing her frantic searching, let her know that she had found the young girl and had taken her to the leasing office of the apartment complex. Ms. Holmes went to the office and was told they had contacted police; police had picked up the girl.

Ms. Holmes was charged with neglecting her daughter in the case. She was unable to afford an attorney but did not meet the income requirements to qualify for a public defender. She represented herself and, after a discussion with the prosecuting attorney, agreed to plead guilty. She was eager to put the situation behind her and move forward with her family. Ms. Holmes was sentenced to parenting classes and she satisfactorily completed the requirement.

At no time did Ms. Holmes inaccurately respond to questions on the board member application or questionnaire. She also did not represent on her resume that she graduated from the University of Denver; she simply indicated she had attended the school. The press release from the DPS Office of Communications incorrectly stated she was a DU graduate.

MORE | Read Holmes' DPS application

DPS said Holmes is the mother of three children in Northeast Denver and a former DPS student herself.  Her resume shows she's a member of Stand For Children, a child advocacy group and currently sits on two district committees.

Stand's executive director, Jeani Frickey Saito, described Holmes as a fearless leader who was open with them about her past as well.

"We appreciated the fact that she disclosed the information to us, it was a very relatable situation," Frickey Saito said.  "In no way did it disqualify her in our minds from participating as a Stand member.  I don't believe it disqualifies her as a member of the DPS school board either."

More than 20 candidates applied for the unpaid position, DPS said.

Holmes is scheduled to be sworn in at the Board of Education work session next Monday. Denver7 tried to contact Holmes for comment, but she was not home and her cell phone was turned off.

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