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KSP, state board investigating Trimble County track coach

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By Phyllis McLaughlin

A Trimble County track/cross-country coach has been suspended with pay by Superintendent Marcia Dunaway.

Dunaway informed Jeff Vincent in a letter dated June 20 of the suspension. The Trimble Banner obtained a copy of the letter in accordance with the state’s Open Records law.

“During your suspension, you are not to be on School District property except at my specific direction, or have contact with any School District staff or students,” the letter states.

Vincent has worked in the district since 1998, when he started as a kindergarten teacher at Bedford Elementary School. In 2003, he became the BES counselor. He also has been district migrant advocate from 1998 to the present.

In an e-mail Tuesday, Dunaway stated that she is “aware there is an investigation concerning possible criminal conduct by Jeff, and I have fully cooperated with the investigators.”

Investigations by KSP, state board in progress

Trooper Michael Webb, public information officer for Kentucky State Police Post 5 in Campbellsburg, confirmed Friday that Vincent is the target of an investigation being conducted by the Special Investigation Unit in Frankfort.

“The Special Investigations Unit handles higher-profile cases or sometimes cases where there might be a conflict of interest with a local post,” Webb said Friday. He declined to comment further on the specifics of the investigation or any allegations that have been made.

Calls seeking more information from Trooper John Hawkins with the unit in Frankfort were not returned by press time Tuesday.

Vincent also is the subject of an investigation being conducted by the Education Professional Standards Board in Frankfort. Alicia Snead, director of legal services for EPSB, confirmed Tuesday that an investigation was pending, but, by law, could not give details of the investigation or say when or by whom a complaint against Vincent had been filed with the board.

Similar to the Kentucky Bar Association, the board is responsible for certifying teachers. Snead said an EPSB investigation can take six months to a year and a half, “if all is going well. The result of an investigation can be suspension or revocation of a teacher’s certification.”

Snead could only confirm that the case was still in the early stages and had not yet been brought before the board.

Allegations made by concerned TCHS parents

Parents of one female Trimble County High School student, however, informed The Trimble Banner that they had come forward to complain to district administrators about Vincent, alleging his misconduct with their daughter and other female students.

One of the parents provided to The Trimble Banner a letter dated May 16 and addressed to Dunaway and Assistant Superintendent Jessica Wilcoxson, in which the parents express frustration over what they perceive as a lack of action following a May 10 meeting they had had with the administrators and two members of the Board of Education regarding Vincent.

The names of the parents are being withheld to protect the identity of their daughter and any other students who may be involved in any alleged misconduct by Vincent.

In the letter, the parent outlines the allegations as sexual misconduct with a student (who has since graduated from TCHS), “communication and transportation misconduct” by Vincent and “administrative misconduct” in failing to report these allegations to state education and law enforcement agencies.

In a phone conversation Monday, one of the parents explained that Vincent had been sending an “excessive” number of text messages to the daughter during school hours and even as late as 10:41 p.m. one night.

The parent also explained that Vincent has transported female students to and from track meets and school on numerous occasions. Students are supposed to ride the bus to sports and other off-campus events.

The letter also alleges sexual misconduct by Vincent with a former TCHS student, further alleging that district administrators were aware of the misconduct at the time and did nothing to stop it.

Citing the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, Dunaway said she could not comment further on the KSP investigation or any allegations that may have been brought before her or the Board of Education regarding Vincent and the investigation, particularly if those allegations involve students.