Columbus High School is searching for a new security coordinator after head resource officer Bernard Jones left in June amid an investigation into alleged misconduct.
Columbus Municipal School District Superintendent Dr. Del Phillips confirmed Jones had been investigated but was not at liberty to divulge the impetus for the investigation.
“We looked into an investigation but never could come up with anything,” Phillips said.
Jones” contract was non-renewed June 30 after 18 years as a resource officer. He also served as an assistant football coach.
An e-mailed statement from attorney Jeff Smith on Jones” behalf reads: “The dispute in the City School System, which led to Mr. Jones” non-renewal, was an incident reported by a student. It was the student”s word against Mr. Jones.
“Mr. Jones steadfastly denies he ever acted in any manner but professionally, and is sorry an incident of ”he said and she said” has caused a premature end to his service to the City School System.”
Smith says Jones has no “animus or malice towards the school system or towards the student casting aspersions on his character,” and has no plans to seek further legal action.
Smith, who is the current Lowndes County School District board attorney, is not representing Jones, but said he is functioning as an adviser. He said Jones has not told him the nature of the allegation brought by the student.
During the course of the investigation Jones reportedly requested and received a polygraph test at the Columbus Police Department, but police said they would not divulge the results of the polygraph test or the questions asked.
The CMSD website lists a job opening for security coordinator, and further advertisements for the position are expected to be published today and Sunday.
Another CHS resource officer, Sereta Richardson, was released by the district July 20 after photographs of Richardson were discovered on a sadomasochistic blog. Richardson denied maintaining the site, and reportedly has an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint pending against Columbus Schools.
Jason Browne was previously a reporter for The Dispatch.
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