A school psychologist, arrested in May for allegedly taking inappropriate nude pictures of a young teenage boy, will be allowed to return to work after the holiday break.
Carteret County Schools say Johnny Clevinger will not work in any school, instead he will work from home.
Lawmen say they found hundreds of photos of several other children at Clevinger's home and also seized three computers, two from his house and one from a school he worked. A family member told WITN that the family practices nudism.
The psychologist had been on paid leave for six months by the school system, but so far he has not been indicted. The school system says under state law they cannot continue the suspension, given the circumstances in this case.
"Mr. Clevinger's employment status is active duty assigned to work from his home. He will report to the Central Office and his assignments will be policy and procedure development. This reinstatement and re-assignment will be reevaluated according to the outcome of the charges," said a statement from the school system.
Carteret County Schools Statement
Johnny E. Clevinger was employed by the Carteret County School System on October 8, 2001 as a school psychologist. According to records at the Carteret County Courthouse, he was arrested for alleged inappropriate activity in May of 2009. The School System has no evidence that the arrest related to any activities with students or his job. But, because of the arrest, Mr. Clevinger was suspended with pay on May 20, 2009 pending the outcome of the investigation leading to his arrest. The investigation is continuing and, while charges are pending against Mr. Clevinger, he has not been indicted. The School System anticipated a resolution of the criminal charges before now.
One founding principle of our democracy is that our citizens are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The public records indicate Mr. Clevinger has not been found guilty of any crime.
The laws of the State of North Carolina permit the suspension of a public school employee with pay to investigate alleged inappropriate activity, but do not permit a suspension without pay under the current circumstances of this case. The initial suspension with pay is limited to 90 days and this time period can be extended only with the consent of the employee.
The investigation by law enforcement authorities into the allegations against Mr. Clevinger were not completed within the initial 90 day period and Mr. Clevinger's suspension with pay was continued for an additional time period with his consent. That period was up on November 13, 2009. On that date, law enforcement's investigation was still continuing. The Carteret County School System does not know when the investigation will be complete or when the criminal charges against Mr. Clevinger will be resolved.
Mr. Clevinger has been on suspension with pay for almost six months. While his salary is paid primarily with state funds, Central Office school officials have determined that the best stewardship of the state's tax dollars is served by reinstating and reassigning Mr. Clevinger, pending a resolution of the charges,.
Effective November 13, 2009, and until further notice, Mr. Clevinger's employment status is active duty assigned to work from his home. He will report to the Central Office and his assignments will be policy and procedure development. This reinstatement and re-assignment will be reevaluated according to the outcome of the charges.