Lowndes superintendent found not guilty

Published 6:22 pm Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A judge says the Lowndes County school superintendent followed proper procedure in investigating a 2012 sexual misconduct accusation against a school janitor.
Hayneville Magistrate Judge Sandra H. Lewis on Tuesday found Superintendent Daniel Boyd not guilty of reckless endangerment charges that had been brought against him by the Hayneville police chief.
Chief Kelvin Mitchell arrested Boyd on 243 counts of reckless endangerment.
The number derives from the total number of female students at Hayneville Middle School and Central Elementary School who were allegedly put in danger when a school employee who had been accused of inappropriately touching a female student was allowed to return to work.
The police chief argued the superintendent should have told him about the accusation against a janitor made by a middle school student.
Lewis says Boyd acted properly by notifying the Alabama Department of Human Resources and placing the janitor on leave.
The janitor, Lee Saffold, in 2014 pleaded guilty to trying to entice a child for immoral purposes.
At a news conference last Thursday, Boyd called the last 10 months a “terrible experience” for him and his family.
“I have always tried to protect our children and to lift up our children and to educate our children,” Boyd said.
“To be charged with recklessly endangering any children was extremely painful. It is counter to everything I have stood for and everything I have tried to do in my life.”
Boyd also called the trial a direct result of a personal vendetta.
Boyd surrendered to Chief Mitchell in April 2014, and was later released on a $5,400 bond.
Following the incident, Mitchell was suspended for insubordination for attempting to arrest the superintendent during a school board meeting.
Boyd said his reputation, “was permanently impacted, but I am just thankful that justice prevailed.”
He added that he worried not only for his own reputation but for every school superintendent in the state.
“If I could be charged and convicted for following the law and doing my job, then every superintendent would be at risk of being similarly charged and convicted,” Boyd said.
“Schools would not be able to operate if that were the case.”
Chief Mitchell summed up his thoughts on the case, as well.
“The wheels of justice has [sic] spoken and the Hayneville Police Department continues to protect and serve the citizens and children.”
Judge Lewis also ordered that Boyd’s $5,400 bond be returned to him immediately.

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