Desoto Parish school board member Barthlomew Claiborne has been arrested on one federal count of distribution of powdered cocaine. His arrest comes after a lengthy investigation by Parish authorities and the FBI.
Claiborne is the elected school board representative for district ten in Desoto parish. He also owns his own business: Barthlomew's Benefit Agency. He is well known and liked within his community, which is struggling to accept his arrest.
"I can't say too much about nothing bad that he do," said Michelle Daughtry, mother of four Desoto students. "He do his job, be real friendly with everybody, and to me, my opinion, I don't think that's him."
Superintendent of Desoto Parish Schools Walter Lee was surprised by the arrest, but does not want parents to panic. Lee says school will proceed as normal, and Claiborne may remain a board member until proven guilty. Lee is disappointed that Claiborne, whom he describes as a sharp and capable individual, might end up incarcerated, but hopes the ordeal can serve as a lesson to Desoto students.
"I...hope that it would be a message to the young people that it's not okay to break the law."
Claiborne appeared in federal court Thursday, before being released on $50,000 bond. He is ordered to appear again in court on September 4th.