Bozeman Principal Suspended During Probe

Bay County School Superintendent Bill Husfelt has suspended Deane Bozeman school's Principal while the district investigates his alleged misconduct.

Husfelt sent a letter to Bill Payne Thursday, suspending him with pay, while the school district conducts its investigation. NewsChannel 7 has learned that the investigation involves a potentially inappropriate relationship between Payne and a subordinate.

This comes 2-weeks after former Bozeman book-keeper Holly Julian complained about Payne to the Bay County School Board. She claimed she went to Payne with concerns about sexual comments supposedly made in March by a Bozeman teacher to her daughter's class. She claims her complaint led Payne to retaliate against her.

Julian's attorney Cecile Scoon requested the school board investigate the teacher's classroom comments, Payne's treatment of Julian, and Payne's personal intimate involvement with subordinates, although no one is elaborating on exactly what that means.

Thursday night Husfelt would not go into specifics about the nature of the investigation. "It would be best for him and all involved if he's not on campus or around during this investigation. So, just to be taking caution as we could and to make sure that everything was dealt with as quickly and efficiently as possible. That was the recommendation counsel and I agreed within and that's what's going on right now. We hope the investigation ends next week."

Supt. Husfelt says school board attorney Franklin Harrison will be heading up the Payne investigation. No one from the district staff will be involved.

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