Bay District School's Employee Retires after Solicitation of Prostitution Charge

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Panama City - Bay district School's Supervisor of Maintenance, who was arrested earlier this week on solicitation of prostitution charges, is retiring. James David Thompson pleaded not guilty during his arraignment Friday morning. After court he met with Bay District School's Superintendent Bill Husfelt and announced his retirement.

Had Thompson not retired, Husfelt said he would have recommended the school board fire Thompson. He also said Thompson's legal problems have nothing to do with his alleged behavior.

"He didn't need to get into any kind of defense mode with us because that is a legal issue. We wanted to stay away from a legal matter. If he hadn't been charged we'd be doing the same thing because it's a moral situation," Husfelt said.

Investigators say Thompson offered a co-worker $500 Wednesday to have sex with the man's wife. When Thompson showed up at the co-workers house that night, bay county sheriff's deputies were waiting. They questioned Thompson, and say he admitted to the whole thing. They say they even found five $100 bills in Thompson's pocket.

"We're very disappointed that one of our supervisors got caught in the middle of something like this. We'll put it behind us and go forward from here," Husfelt said.

The school district will begin searching or Thompson's replacement. Thompson worked for the district for 19 years. He was earning $76 thousand a year. The base rate for his position is $63 thousand.

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