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Attorney for BISD trustee Mike Neil unhappy with how district is handling probe into altercation with Jessie Haynes
BEAUMONT - The attorney for a Beaumont ISD board member who got into an altercation with a member of the superintendent's staff tells KFDM News he's unhappy with how the district is handling the investigation.
Video taken by a surveillance camera August 1 in a hallway of the administration building shows the Special Assistant to the Superintendent for Communications, Jessie Haynes, standing in front of the door to a room where the school district attorney was answering reporters' questions.
Trustee Mike Neil tries to go inside to find out why Haynes was preventing SET Investigates reporter Jerry Jordan from entering. Supporters of Haynes say it was at the request of the BISD attorney. There was contact between Neil and Haynes. Dr. Timothy Chargois, the BISD Superintendent, placed Haynes on paid administrative leave beginning Monday, August 5, pending the outcome of the district's investigation.
Last week, Chief Clydell Duncan of the BISD Police Department told KFDM News his department is investigating. Duncan said he hoped to hand over the results of the investigation to Municipal Court or the District Attorney's Office this week. Chief Duncan said the cases could be anything from assault to obstruction. It would be up to the court or the D.A.'s Office to decide whether to pursue charges or take no action.
Neil's attorney, David Vann deCordova Jr., sent a statement to KFDM News in which he says he's "alarmed that the BISD Police seem ready to conclude and present their investigation to a prosecuting authority within the week."
According to deDecordova, "several eyewitnesses to the event have not even been contacted by the BISD Police, and the police can't help but know who these individuals are." David Vann deCordova Jr. says neither he, nor Michael Getz, an attorney who witnessed the altercation, nor Jerry Jordan of SET Investigates, has been contacted by BISD Police.
KFDM News left messages with Chief Duncan for followup comment. We'd not heard back from him by late Monday afternoon.
Statement from David Vann deCordova Jr. to KFDM News:
"First, we are concerned that Chief Duncan commented to the news media about an on-going criminal investigation. I don't fault the media for asking. But this matter is receiving intense public scrutiny, and the Chief should have erred on the side of caution and refrained from public comment. It simply does not help the investigation in any material respect.
Next, under the circumstances, we also are alarmed that the BISD Police seem ready to conclude and present their investigation to a prosecuting authority within the week. I can verify that several eyewitnesses to the event have not even been contacted by the BISD Police, and the police can't help but know who these individuals are. I have not been contacted. Moreover, we also hope that the BISD Police have obtained or will obtain Ms. Haynes's medical records and interview the appropriate personnel and other present with Ms. Haynes. She leveled some pretty serious and outrageous charges in public and in writing against not just my client Mike Neil, but against Jerry Jordan as well.
We will be very closely monitoring the matter. I mean the the BISD Police are investigating a member of the Superintendent's cabinet and a sitting elected public official who is a member of the body ultimately having charge over the BISD Police Department. So, I'm really surprised that the BISD Police didn't turn this matter over the Beaumont Police for investigation."