NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- As Talk of the Sound continues to investigate former New Rochelle Assistant Superintendent Freddie Dean Smith, two new sex crime convictions, both in South Carolina, have come to light. Meanwhile, Smith remains a licensed administrator in New York State.
Talk of the Sound previously reported on Smith's arrest for a Peeping Tom conviction in Spartanburg, South Carolina in 1990. In seeking to obtain records related to that arrest and conviction, two additional cases came to light.
The two arrests came during a time when Smith was a doctoral student at the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia (Fall 1997 – Spring 2003).
In August 2001, Spartanburg police responded to the TJ Maxx store at 120 Dorman Centre Drive after a complaint by the store security officer. Police were shown a video tape of a black/male exposing his penis and masturbating in the store.
Less than two years later, in April 2003, Spartanburg police responded to the Ingles Grocery Store at 2000 South Pine Street. A woman told police that while grocery shopping she observed a black/male wearing a burgundy shirt and shorts approach her in a shopping aisle. The black/male exposed his penis and began to shake it at her.
In both cases, Freddie Dean Smith was taken into custody, arrested by the police, charged with Indecent Exposure, a misdemeanor, and transported to county jail. South Carolina records indicate that the cases were combined so that Smith plead guilty t both counts on June 10, 2003 and was sentenced to two years (concurrent) with Credit for Time Served of 41 days and released. This was one month after Smith began working as a principal in White Plains.
As previously reported by Talk of the Sound, in between these two arrests, Smith was arrested and convicted on a felony count of Endangering a Police Officer in Albermarle County, Virginia. He was also charged with Obstruction of Justice and Driving on a Suspended License. He was placed on 1 year probation in November 2002.
Not previously reported, Smith was also arrested by Charlottesville City police in April 2002 on a misdemeanor count of Disorderly Conduct. Smith plead guilty in September 2002.
2003 was a big year for Smith.
Smith somehow managed to pass a 50-state FBI background check by the New York State Office of Professional Responsibility despite his extensive criminal history. Smith applied for the position of Principal at the Post Road Elementary School in White Plains, failing to disclose his prior felony conviction and numerous misdemeanor convictions and making numerous false statements about his work history, education and accomplishments. He submitted a plagiarized dissertation at the Curry School of Education. Despite being on probation in Virginia, Smith was arrested in April 2003, his third arrest for a sex crime in South Carolina. A month later, in May, Smith was awarded a doctorate by the University of Virginia (since revoked) and began work in the White Plains school district. In June 2003, Smith was back in South Carolina pleading guilty to two misdemeanor counts of Indecent Exposure then returned to work in White Plains.
The New York State Education Department has refused repeated requests to explain how Smith was able to obtain an administrative license in 2003 and why he retains that license more than four years after the New York City Board of Education notified Smith he was not eligible for a position in New York City due to his felony conviction for Endangering a Police Officer and almost a year since telling Talk of the Sound an audit and moral fitness investigation had been initiated.
Talk of the Sound has reached out to Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, Assemblyman Steve Otis and State Senators Andrea Stewart-Cousins and George Latimer for answers as to the foot-dragging by NYSED. By agreement among the four, Stewart-Cousins' staff has taken the lead in reaching out to State Education officials. So far, NYSED has refused to even acknowledge there is an investigation into how Smith got his license and whether he should keep it even though NYSED confirmed this to Talk of the Sound in February 2014.