Southgate staffer being investigated by Austin police

Published 9:12 am Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Southgate Elementary School employee is under investigation amidst rumors he may have inappropriately touched a student.

Austin Public Schools Human Resources Director Mary Burroughs said the part-time employee has been placed on leave and an investigation is under way after a complaint was made last week. Due to privacy laws, district officials would not release further information or the nature of their investigation.

“All I can say is some allegations have been raised at Southgate,” Burroughs said. “We’re taking those allegations seriously.”

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Any time a serious allegation is made, school officials must make a report to the state Department of Education, place the employee on leave and, depending on the allegations, refer the matter to police. While Burroughs couldn’t comment on what type of investigation police were conducting, she did say district officials would take such steps with any sort of case involving harassment or worse.

“It’s something we are legally obligated to do, If it could involve the safety of kids, or the safety of our employees.” Burroughs said.

Austin Police Chief Brian Krueger acknowledged there is an investigation underway, but he declined to comment further.

“We received a complaint and we are currently investigating,” Krueger said.

Burroughs said nothing has been proven thus far and the district will take action once police have finished their investigation.