School board member ‘not resigning’ after pot bust

Posted at 9:18 PM, Jul 25, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-25 21:44:27-04

RICHMOND, Va, (WTVR) - After the husband of board member Shonda Harris-Muhammed was arrested for growing a marijuana plant on the back porch of the couple’s North Side home, some believe critics insinuated she should resign.

Today Harris-Muhammed addressed her critics during an impromptu news conference outside of her Barton Heights home.

"Every family has stuff and I'm not going to deal with it in the public eye," she said.

The sixth district school board member was adamant that she is sticking around.

"I need to make that very clear that I am not resigning under any circumstances," said Harris-Muhammed.

Her husband Demetrius Muhammed was charged with one felony count of manufacturing marijuana on Tuesday night; Shonda was not charged.

“As I indicated before, I had no idea that, that was there on my back porch," said Harris-Muhammed.

Her husband vouched for her.

"I take full responsibility for that,” he said. “My wife had nothing to do or knowledge that, that was there," said Demetrius Muhammed.

He admitted he made a mistake.

CBS 6 asked why he would do that, knowing that she is a public figure. In addition, he is a teacher for Surry County schools, and this was not his first marijuana offense.

“Like I said, it was a neglectful judgment on my part," said Demetrius.

Though Harris-Muhammed emphasized that she did nothing wrong, she thinks some of her colleagues want to force her out of office.

All of the board members, except one, released a statement that they were “gravely concerned and deeply disappointed” about the news.

“We are faced yet again with an unfortunate incident that distracts us from the important work we have to complete,” said the statement, seeming to reference the controversy over Harris-Muhammed’s alleged doctoral degree.

“This incident has cast a shadow on the School Board,” read the statement, which you can read here in its entirety.

Still, board member Tichi Pinkney-Eppes said they were not subtly asking Harris-Muhammed to step down.

"Let me be clear that there was no intent of this statement being a subtle way of asking her to step down," said Pinkney-Eppes.

Harris-Muhammed said that many voters in her district stand behind her, and she plans to focus on what they put her office to do: and that's helping to educate kids.


Stay with CBS 6 News and for the latest updates on this developing story.