Republican Bill Goebel, who was named to the District 3 Board of Education seat on Tuesday, April 4 – to the surprise of everyone with the exception of six Democratic school board members, Goebel’s wife and some top school staff who were in on the ploy – explained this week why he didn’t tell anyone beforehand about the stunning surprise move the Democratic majority was about to make.

The short answer is that the school board members swore him to secrecy – or, more accurately, asked him to promise not to say anything.

“I was told not to say anything to anybody,” he said on Thursday, April 6, two days after the six Democrats on the board pulled the rug out from under the local Republican Party and out from under teacher Michael Logan, the presumptive appointee going into the meeting.

Goebel told school officials he would tell his wife but no one else.

He said he was told days before the April 4 school board meeting that he needed to attend the meeting. The call came from Guilford County Schools Chief of Staff Jose Oliva.

Goebel said he knew Oliva, so he asked, “Jose, what’s up?”

“I can’t tell you,” was the response.

Late on Monday night, April 3, Goebel said he got a call asking him to meet for lunch the next day. The lunch meeting was held at the Brooks Pierce law firm – the firm that employs Guilford County Schools Attorney Jill Wilson.

He said that he was asked not to tell anyone and he responded that he would tell his wife but no one else. When Goebel was asked why he was asked to remain silent, he said, “I don’t know.”

While he wasn’t given a reason for his silence before the lightning fast school board switcheroo took place that night, it is pretty easy to guess the likely motive of the Democrats on the school board: Namely, that it’s easier to ask forgiveness than permission.