Rep. Valerie Clark (HD 101)
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Valerie McKelvey Clark (R-Lawrenceville)
House District 101 (Gwinnett County)
Valerie Clark, then principal of Central Gwinnett High School, retired in January 2009 after 38 years as an educator. A month later, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Clark’s retirement ended an internal investigation to determine if she had blocked a disciplinary action against her son, one of eight Central Gwinnett students accused of soliciting marijuana on campus. A witness reportedly told investigators that Clark told her assistant principal, “I’ve never asked for a favor before. … I am telling you as your principal not to take him,” the AJC reported. Clark released a statement at the time saying she initially “did not have all the facts” and thought the incident had occurred off-campus. The school subsequently investigated and took all of the students to a disciplinary panel, she said.
Timothy Swiney, a political opponent, alleged in 2012 that Clark co-sponsored a bill mandating destruction of investigative files of public school employees that did not end in disciplinary action. Since Clark retired during the investigation, Swiney alleged, she “effectively destroyed all evidence of wrongdoing.” The bill in question, however, did not pass and, even if it had, would not have affected Clark’s situation. The bill, authored by Rep. Brooks Coleman, would only have affected teachers exonerated by the state’s licensing agency after a full hearing.
Clark has drawn her largest campaign contributions from other elected officials. Overall, House Republicans have donated more than $91,000 to her campaigns, or more than 40 percent of all the money she has raised.
- Elected to the House, 54-46%, in 2010, unseating Democratic incumbent Lee Thompson.
- Re-elected 56-44% in 2012 over Democratic candidate Timothy Swiney. In 2010, Clark defeated Swiney in the Republican primary for the same seat.
- Re-elected in 2014 with no opposition.
- Defeated 51-49% by Democratic challenger Samuel Park in 2016.
- Appropriations (2013 – 2016)
- Education (2011 – 2016)
- Health & Human Services (2011 – 2016)
- Human Relations & Aging (2011 – 2016)
- Transportation (2013 – 2016)
- Retired Gwinnett County school teacher and principal.
Business ownership interests
- Equitable partner, Clark Development LLC, Maryville, Tenn., real-estate leasing.
Other fiduciary positions
- None disclosed.
Real estate holdings
- Personal residence in Lawrenceville valued at $180,000.
- Vacation property in Stephens County valued at $451,000.
- Invest Mutual Fund.
- Lincoln National Mutual Fund.
Payments from state agencies
- Clark receives an annual pension of about $103,000 from the Teachers Retirement System. State records show she earned $129,000 in FY2008, her last full year on the job.
Friends and Family
- Clark’s husband, Bob, former principal of Parkview High School, was elected in 2011 to the Lawrenceville City Council. He had announced his candidacy for Gwinnett County Commission chairman in 2010 but withdrew from the race before the March 2011 special election.
Clark has raised more than $213,000 in political donations, and her husband loaned her campaign an additional $22,000. The loan has been repaid. The breakdown by election cycle:
- 2010: $36,025
- 2011-12 : $54,090
- 2013-14: $18,597
- 2015-16: $104,425
- Reported cash on hand (Oct. 2016): $63,733
- $91,415 Speaker David Ralston & other Republican lawmakers
- $5,725 Georgia Optometric Association
- $4,600 John D. Stephens, College Park, Ga., developer/pipeline contractor
- $4,250 Georgia Trial Lawyers Association
- $3,600 Georgia Dental Association
- $3,550 Georgia Society of Ambulatory Surgery Centers
- $3,450 Georgia Society of Ophthalmology
- $3,350 Resurgens Orthopaedics
- $2,900 Georgia Association of Realtors
- $2,750 Georgia Chiropractic Association
- $2,500 Medical Association of Georgia
Candidates may give campaign funds to other candidates, a practice that some say provides a legal means to circumvent contribution limits. A 2003 bill to ban such transfers altogether passed in the Senate but died in the House. Clark’s committee made these political donations:
- 2011-12 : $400
- 2013-14: $9,600
- 2015-16: $650
Lobbyists have reported spending more than $5,000 on Clark since 2010. The big spenders:
- $867 University System of Georgia
- $616 Medical Association of Georgia
- $492 Georgia Power Co.
- $301 Professional Association of Georgia Educators
- $288 Georgia Association of Manufacturers
Committee days & travel expenses
When out of session, legislators may collect $173 per diem plus mileage for committee meetings or other official business. Lawmakers living within 50 miles of the Capitol are taxed on these payments, which were originally intended to cover out-of-town members’ food and lodging.
- 2011: $1,460 (7 days)
- 2012: $420 (2 days)
- 2013: $5,365 (23 days)
- 2014: $2,851 (12 days)
- 2015: $4,407 (19 days)
Updated Nov. 9, 2016