Fmr. FBI agent reviews past JCPS investigations

JCPS hires former FBI agent to review cases

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A former FBI agent is reviewing Jefferson County Public Schools past investigations, looking to improve procedures and techniques. Superintendent Donna Hargens made the announcement at Tuesday night's JCPS board meeting.

JCPS Chief Business Officer Tom Hudson started the reviews earlier this year to learn more about the district's interview techniques and procedures. The district said they are working with internal resources, personnel and outside counsel to conduct this review, including attorney Mark Fenzel of Middleton Reutlinger.

"JCPS really wants to know whether their investigations are being conducted properly,” Fenzel said.

JCPS officials said the focus is on claims of staff misconduct resulting in student injury. They said they are looking at a total of 14 investigations dating back to 2005.

After an initial review of the investigations, Fenzel said it became clear they needed an expert.

"After consulting with the district, we agreed that it would be very helpful for an outside consultant -- someone who's experienced in conducting investigations,” he said.

After a first review of the investigations, JCPS confirms 8 to 9 employees are now on paid leave.

Superintendent Donna Hargens said, "The message is clear. We have high expectations for the behavior of our employees. We will tolerate nothing less than our students being treated with the utmost respect and care."

"I think it’s a great aspiration on Donna Hargens part, but the reality of it is, you can't just say it. You have to do it,” Brian Long, a former JCPS parent said.

Long's son Brennon, who has autism, was sent to the hospital with two broken femurs after being restrained by a JCPS employee in 2014.

The school district, police, and Child Protective Services investigations did not substantiate any claims of excessive force, but Long said he thinks the district failed his son. Now, he said he hopeful these reviews may improve their investigations for someone else.

Long said, "I look at the motions of what appears to be taking place here, and I say these are moves, these are steps in the right direction."

JCPS officials said the employees will remain on paid leave as the investigation continues. Additional corrective or disciplinary actions could come as a result of the investigation.


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