No charges to be filed against former VCHS drama teacher
September 18, 2007
No charges will be filed against former Virginia City High School teacher William Beeson.
Beeson, who taught English and theater arts at Virginia City High School was placed on administrative leave in May and later fired after allegations that he improperly touched a student were filed with the Storey County Sheriff’s Office.
Storey County District Attorney Harold Swafford said Tuesday that after investigating, he found no crime was committed.
Swafford said he wrote a letter to Storey County School Superintendent Rob Slaby about three months ago informing him of the decision not to prosecute.
“I wrote a letter telling him (Slaby) I couldn’t see any crime,” Swafford said. “There was no crime. He patted some kid on the back and it was in a classroom full of kids, all of whom were interviewed and nobody said he did anything.”
Swafford said he didn’t dismiss the case because there was never a case.
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“I didn’t file a complaint,” he said. “There never was a complaint filed. I wrote a letter to the superintendent telling him I was not going to file a complaint, and anything that happened had to come from the school district.”
Swafford initially turned the sheriff’s department report over to the Nevada Attorney General’s Office because his wife works for the school district and Swafford felt there was a conflict of interest.
But the attorney general’s office sent the case back, saying it could see no conflict, Swafford said.
Storey County Sheriff Jim Miller confirmed he submitted a lewdness complaint to Swafford in May. He said the sheriff’s department was first contacted about the incident May 2. Beeson was never formally charged.
Storey County School Superintendent Rob Slaby has confirmed the district has decided to fire Beeson, but would not comment further because it was a personnel matter.
“I’m absolutely amazed they would fire him,” Swafford said.
Beeson confirmed a grievance had been filed against the district, but referred all questions to the Nevada Education Association representative Randy Cahill or the NEA attorney Frank Flaherty. Neither could be reached for comment.
• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at email@example.com or 882-2111 ext. 351.
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