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Kentucky AG Rejects Request To Investigate McCracken County Attorney

McCracken County Schools via Facebook

  Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear’s office on Friday denied a request made by Paducah-based attorneys to investigate the McCracken County attorney’s handling of sexual misconduct investigations at McCracken County High School earlier this year.

 

 The attorneys who made the request represent the family of a girl allegedly the victim of sexual abuse sexual misconduct investigation into McCracken County High School student, Princekumar Joshi. Joshi entered an alford plea in June. He’s recently been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison.

 

The McCracken County Sheriff’s Office sexual misconduct investigation was one of severalinvolving the county high school this spring, including an investigation into a high school teacher and another into a volunteer fishing coach. 

 

The attorneys representing the family allege in their original complaint to Beshear’s office that McCracken County Attorney Sam Clymer could have been politically pressured to drop charges against high school staff involved in the investigations because he’s an elected official.

 

Beshear’s office in their response letter to the attorneys’ request said their “office is not able to assist” in the matter and that their office “doesn’t investigate local prosecutor’s decisions in cases which” the local prosecutor has jurisdiction. Bard Brian, one of the attorneys who made the original request to Beshear, said they’re weighing options. 

 

“There are different options. We could resend a request for consideration. We could go to this Prosecutor’s Advisory Council that they mention,” Brian said.

 

In March, Clymer dropped charges of failure to report child abuse, neglect or dependence against McCraken County High School Principal Michael Ceglinksi and Director of Pupil Personnel Brian Bowland. Clymer said his interpretation of the statute associated with the charges, KRS 620.040(4), had changed. Because of that, he said the facts of the case no longer supported the charges.

 

In a press release issued by Clymer on March 1, he said he changed his interpretation of KRS 620.040(4) in that he now believed that school officials only have to report child abuse, neglect or dependency exclusively in cases that involved an act by a child’s “guardian, parent, person in a position of authority or special trust, or other person excersing custodial control or supervision of a child”.

 

Brian said he believes Clymer’s changed opinion of the statute leaves the door open to school officials not being required to report child abuse in cases that involve two minors. Brian said he wants Clymer’s “questionable” interpretation of the statute removed to provide more legal certainty for public employees.

 

“What would be best is just the county attorney would come into compliance into what the statue said and sort of remove this opinion with the school personnel,” Brian said. “Everybody in the county is impacted by this. And people need to know what their legal obligations are. And by making this very unique ruling, it’s had people question what they thought was well-established law.”

 

Find the response letter sent by Beshear’s office below. 

Beshear Response by Anonymous tlNuMVv on Scribd

"Liam Niemeyer is a reporter for the Ohio Valley Resource covering agriculture and infrastructure in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia and also serves Assistant News Director at WKMS. He has reported for public radio stations across the country from Appalachia to Alaska, most recently as a reporter for WOUB Public Media in Athens, Ohio. He is a recent alumnus of Ohio University and enjoys playing tenor saxophone in various jazz groups."
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