Teacher on paid leave after abuse allegation

An Arbor View High School social studies teacher and soccer coach was placed on paid leave Friday and is being investigated by the Clark County School District after he was named in a civil lawsuit by a former student who claimed he sexually abused her.

Richard Kazee, who was hired by the district in 1993, was named in a lawsuit by Carol Lynne Maner. A jury awarded Maner $3.7 million in July after she claimed the school board in a district in Lexington, Ky., ignored her allegations of abuse against Kazee and other teachers. Kazee worked for that district in the 1970s to the early 1990s.

Darrin Puana, Clark County School District’s assistant director in the employee management relations office, wouldn’t specify why Kazee was placed on leave, saying it is a confidential personnel matter.

"Mr. Kazee has been reassigned to home pending the outcome of the investigation," Puana said.

He added, while speaking in general terms, that lying on a job application is grounds for dismissal.

Puana said 19 questions on the teacher application form refer to an applicant’s criminal history. But he was unaware whether those questions were part of the district’s hiring process in 1993.

Kazee declined comment Monday.

The Lexington Herald-Leader newspaper reported in July that Kazee was convicted of a misdemeanor sex solicitation charge and was suspended from teaching in the Lexington district in 1991. He was also suspended a second time in 1991 for drinking beer on campus, the story said. The article also said a criminal investigation against Kazee was open, but he had not been charged.

Calls to a Lexington police sergeant with knowledge of the case were not returned Monday.

Puana also said Monday that two Foothill High School teachers who were placed on paid leave in May are still being investigated and have not returned to the classroom because of allegations of sexual misconduct against students that vary in seriousness.

Puana said a third Foothill teacher who was being investigated by the district resigned in July.

Henderson police completed an investigation against a female Foothill teacher on June 1 without pressing any charges against her. The allegations against the teacher were the only ones serious enough involving the Foothill teachers that warranted a police investigation, Henderson police said.

John Jasonek, executive director of the Clark County Education Association teachers union, said the district is doing a disservice to the Foothill teachers by taking so long to complete its investigation.

"The district has a moral obligation to its employees to move swiftly so people know where they stand," Jasonek said. "They either have information or they don’t. They need to move on it."

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