ALBANY, Ga. — Monroe High School Assistant Principal Joey James' teaching certifications have been revoked by the State Professional Standards Commission and he faces a termination hearing before the Dougherty County School Board on Wednesday.
James' problem stems from two misdemeanor sexual battery charges filed against him in regard to several incidents allegedly involving a paraprofessional in 2011 while he was the principal at Southside Middle School.
His trial in June 2012 ended in a mistrial when State Court Judge John Salter ruled on improper testimony from the victim. A new trial date has not been set.
Since then James has been suspended with pay twice and is currently serving an unpaid suspension which began last month after the PSC's decision was announced.
In March 2011, the paraprofessional accused James of a pattern of improper conduct and then attempting to cover up his behavior.
According to a copy of the PSC ruling obtained by The Albany Herald, the accuser testified that James walked behind her and while instructing her how to complete a referral form, "brushed his groin against her buttocks and reached around and grabbed her right breast." At that point, she said, she elbowed James in the stomach and left his office.
Former school superintendent Joshua Murfree was then notified and he brought in DCSS Police Assistant Chief J.C. Phillips, who conducted an investigation of the allegations against James. James was later charged with misdemeanor sexual battery.
The PSC, in a Nov. 16 ruling, found that James had violated two provisions of the Code of Ethics for Educators by engaging in "unprofessional conduct" and Administrative Law Judge Stephanie Howells found that revocation of James' certificates was appropriate.
He appealed the revocation, but on Dec. 6 the PSC upheld Howells' decision.
James' attorney, Chris West, of Moultrie, then filed a request for a stay of the PSC's revocation decision. That hearing is scheduled to be held before Dougherty Superior Court Judge Willie Lockett on Feb. 7.
James currently has no teaching certifications. Last week, the Dougherty County Sschool System sent him a termination letter and scheduled the hearing before the School Board for Wednesday at Turner Elementary School.
James still has the two sexual battery charges pending. In addition, Dougherty District Attorney Greg Edwards said Wednesday he has not decided whether to file charges against James for his actions in breaking up of a fight last month between two female students in the Monroe High cafeteria. A video of that incident has been posted online.the same Monroe administrator who garnered headlines for forcefully yanking two students apart during a fight on camera.
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