Still planning arrest of school superintendent, Hayneville Police Chief back on the job
Published 8:40 pm Tuesday, April 15, 2014
By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal
Hayneville Police Chief Kelvin Mitchell is back on the job following an indefinite suspension without pay for the way he planned to arrest Lowndes County School Superintendent Dr. Daniel Boyd. However, Mitchell made it clear Tuesday afternoon that he intends to charge Boyd with more than 200 counts of reckless endangerment.
He said the charges are in connection with the way Boyd handled an allegation that eventually led to a Hayneville Middle School janitor pleading guilty to enticing a child for immoral purposes.
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Mitchell was indefinitely suspended without pay for “insubordination” following last Thursday’s Lowndes County Board of Education meeting in connection with a planned arrest by Mitchell of Boyd.
However, at Monday night’s Hayneville Town Council meeting, Hayneville Mayor Kelvin Lawrence said Mitchell would be given the opportunity to return to work in his position if he met certain conditions set down by the council.
Lawrence said following an executive session Monday night, “The decision was made to bring Chief Mitchell back effective tomorrow (Tuesday) with some conditions.”
When pressed for details on the suspension, Lawrence said, Mitchell disobeyed a “direct order” at the time. And Lawrence said he decided that the suspension was what was needed.
Lawrence said he told Mitchell that he would bring it to the council to try to iron out everything. “And after further discussion and investigation, it was agreed upon by the council and myself to bring him back effective immediately,” he said.
Lawrence said he was not pleased with the way the police chief was going about an effort the arrest the school superintendent. He said, “That was a direct order for him not to do it the way he was planning to do it,” which he said he felt was “insubordination.”
“I just didn’t want the way he was trying to arrest the superintendent to happen that way,” Lawrence said.
Mitchell said Tuesday as to the conditions for his return, “We made an agreement that I would allow Dr. Boyd by 4 o’clock Friday to turn himself in reference to the arrest. And of course I said 100 percent I agree with it, have no problem with it at all.”
He said, “That was the only… if you would use the word condition… that’s the only thing that was brought to my attention this morning (Tuesday). I said unequivocally yes, no problem at all.”
When asked why Boyd would be arrested, Mitchell said, “He said he has 243 counts of reckless endangerment.”
He explained that meant one recklessly places a person at risk of serious physical injury. And he said, “This number comes from the number of students at the Hayneville Middle School… the number of female students at the Hayneville Middle School and the number of female students at the Central Elementary School.”
Mitchell said he did get a warrant for Boyd, which had not been served as of Tuesday afternoon. And he confirmed his charges against Boyd are in connection to the way Boyd handled the Hayneville Middle school janitor case.
Mitchell said, “Mayor Lawrence and I have a great professional and personal relationship. We had a miscommunication about the arrest and that’s the only thing that transpired. We miscommunicated as to the arrest.”
Lee Andrew Saffold, 47, of Hayneville was indicted on charges of sexual abuse second degree, enticing a child and sexual contact with a student, but pleaded guilty to enticing a child for immoral purposes.
Mitchell said Saffold was arrested on 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.
In 2013, 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 (Saffold) 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.
Boyd said at the time, “We did our internal investigation, and we did not find any evidence to corroborate what the student was saying.”
When contacted regarding his potential arrest by Mitchell, Boyd said, “I follow all the guidelines based on our polices and did everything that I felt was appropriate. Time will tell with this particular matter. In a matter of a few weeks we are going to know the full outcome of everything.”
Mitchell is in his 10th year as Hayneville Police Chief.