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DPS board says it has spent $50K on Anderson investigation, anticipates findings by end of summer

tay anderson presser allegations
Posted at 5:32 PM, Jun 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-10 22:01:11-04

DENVER – The Denver Public Schools Board of Education said Thursday it has already put more than $50,000 toward the investigation into anonymous sexual misconduct allegations levied against Board Director Tay Anderson as the teachers union responded to its 2019 endorsement of him.

The Denver Post reported Wednesday night that the Denver Classroom Teachers Association, the union which represents Denver teachers, had received an unverified allegation against Anderson before it endorsed him in 2019.

On Thursday, Rob Gould, the president of the DCTA, said the DCTA Fund, which is responsible for endorsing candidates in election cycles, in June 2019 “received an anonymous letter containing unsubstantiated, nebulous allegations that Mr. Anderson had misused board funds and acted inappropriately toward a woman on the Board of Directors of a local advocacy group.”

Gould said there were no specifics about the allegations contained in the letter and nothing indicating a minor was involved, and thus, no duty to report.

“Knowing that smear campaigns are fairly common during election season, the Fund members asked Mr. Anderson about the allegations and were satisfied with his responses that they were unfounded,” Gould said in a statement. “Beyond that, the Fund does not have the capacity to conduct background investigations for each and every candidate.”

Gould said the DCTA fully supports the DPS-initiated third-party investigation into the allegations that got underway in early April, and said the union was “ready and willing to cooperate with the investigation as needed.”

DPS hired Investigations Law Group to investigate the anonymous allegations levied by Black Lives Matter 5280 and Never Again Colorado earlier this spring. Anderson held a news conference to deny the allegations, in which he said, “I have not sexually assaulted anyone. And I am not aware of a situation that can be construed as sexual assault. And I want to ensure that I and others have a fair, transparent and truly restorative process.”

Anderson said last week he is stepping back from board activities while the investigation is ongoing.

In late May, a parent of DPS students testified at a legislative committee hearing that Anderson had also targeted dozens of other students and committed misconduct. The DPS board reported that testimony to Denver police but said in a statement Thursday that to its knowledge, no one has come forward to report such allegations to the Denver Police Department. A student group has since called for his resignation.

The board said in a statement that it had already spent more than $50,000 on the investigation and anticipates spending more “to ensure no stone is left unturned.”

As no official reports have been made to the board or to police, the board is calling on anyone “with relevant information” to email the independent investigators by clicking here. The board said the investigative team plans to finish its interviews by the end of June.

“It is critically important that all individuals feel safe and supported to participate in this process. The Board will use any and all authority it has to protect those who participate,” the board said in a statement. “…If you have relevant information, please do not delay in reaching out. The Board anticipates having findings by the end of the summer at the latest.”

The statement from the board said it was crucial for victims to be heard and supported but also for the accused to receive due process in the investigation: “We hear you, and we encourage you to raise your voices.”

“The most important action we can take is to protect the integrity of the investigation and make no judgments on its outcome until it is complete. This is our chance to know all the facts. It is dependent on the courage of people to come forward and share information they have with trained investigators or law enforcement,” the board added. “We thank everyone who has participated in the investigation to date. When we have the acts from a fair and thorough investigation, the Board is committed to acting as quickly as possible, within the constraints of Board policy and state law.”