BOE internal investigation found no evidence to corroborate allegations of sexual abuse by janitor

Published 4:01 pm Tuesday, November 5, 2013

By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal

A Hayneville Middle School janitor has resigned his position due to adverse publicity from charges of enticing a child and sexual abuse second degree. But while the case continues and he is set for a preliminary hearing on Dec. 17, Lowndes County School Superintendent Dr. Daniel Boyd has confirmed that an internal investigation by school officials resulted in no evidence to corroborate allegations.

According to Hayneville Police Chief Kelvin Mitchell, Lee Andrew Saffold, 46, of Hayneville was arrested on Thursday, Oct. 24 for an alleged incident that occurred at Hayneville Middle School on Sept. 30, following a report by school officials to the Department of Human Resources.

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Mitchell said at the time, “Upon investigation, he (Saffold) was arrested on those two charges (enticing a child, sexual abuse second degree). He was the janitor/custodian.”

Mitchell said at the time, “We are in the early stages of an investigation. We are going to figure out if these allegations are founded and if they are, we’re going to let the judicial system take its course.”

When contacted by the Signal about the arrest on Monday Oct. 28, Boyd said, “We are going to wait for the Hayneville Police Department to do their investigation. He’s not on leave, but of course, he’s not working, so he’s not being paid.”

Boyd reported on Thursday, Oct. 31 that at a special called meeting that morning, the resignation of Saffold from Oct. 30 was approved.

He said Saffold resigned “not because he said he was guilty.” He said Saffold, “resigned because he said he didn’t want negative publicity involving this incident to involve the school district.”

Boyd said Saffold was working at Hayneville Middle School when he was accused of something.

“On Sept. 30, it was reported by a student that Mr. Saffold had touched her inappropriately,” Boyd said. He said the principal contacted DHR and that Saffold was “placed on leave with pay pending an investigation.”

Boyd said, “He was on leave for approximately seven days.”

He said Saffold reported back to work at the Central Office Oct. 11 and was placed at Central Elementary where he worked until his arrest.

Mitchell said the arrest was made at Central Elementary and that he pressed the charges against Saffold.

“He’s not an employee of our district anymore,” Boyd said. He continued, “He has resigned. We did our internal investigation, and we did not find any evidence to corroborate what the student was saying. So, from a school district perspective, we’re done with this particular situation.”

Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office officials said Saffold was out of jail after making bond at the John Hulett Detention Facility Thursday morning, Oct. 31.

According to the office of Lowndes County Circuit Clerk Ruby Jones-Thomas, Saffold has a preliminary hearing set for Tuesday, Dec. 17 at 1:30 p.m. in Lowndes County District Court.

When asked if this was still an active case being pursued, Mitchell said, “absolutely.”