Hueytown principal accused of covering up, then lying to police about suspected teacher-student sexual relationship

HUEYTOWN, Ala. (WIAT) — Hueytown High School principal Joe Garner is facing charges after officials say he neglected to report a suspected student-teacher sexual relationship and later lied to investigators when questioned about the investigation, which has reportedly been ongoing for more than a year.

The Jefferson County DA Lynniece Washington says Garner has until 5 p.m. to turn himself in; Hueytown police received a warrant for his arrest Tuesday morning. He is charged with obstruction of government operation for allegedly lying to Hueytown Police and failure to report.

Washington says police and the DA’s Office were notified of the incident on Aug. 2016, and the investigation has been underway for over a year. It’s mandatory by law that a school principal notifies officials if he is aware a student is the victim of the crime.

CBS 42 spoke to Jefferson County Schools Superintendent Craig Pouncey after he learned of the charges.

“I do know it references an investigation we did last year. We did not find any substantive evidence….beyond that, I was kind of surprised at this latest turn of events,” Pouncey said. “He’s a former police officer.” ”

Pouncey said they conducted a thorough investigation under the guidance of their attorneys and there was no substantive evidence. The investigation looked into the allegations of a female teacher who may or may not have had an inappropriate relationship with students, Pouncey said.

Pouncey says they have not determined Garner’s fate with the school system; he’s waiting to talk to attorneys this afternoon to get a full understanding of the case. He

CBS 42 has a crew at the Jefferson County Board of Education. You can get live updates by following CBS42 reporter Alex Finnie on twitter @AlexCFinnie.

Be sure to follow the official CBS 42 twitter @WIAT42

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