Episd set to fire administrator arrested on kidnapping and sex charges

The El Paso Independent School District is proposing to suspend or fire an administrator who was arrested Thursday for kidnapping and sexually assaulting a woman.

The PISD board will vote on the superintendent’s recommendation to terminate Steve Clay’s contract or suspend him without pay, according to the special agenda for Tuesday’s board meeting.

Jeffrey Steven Clay

A federal grand jury in New Mexico on Thursday indicted Jeffrey Steven Clay on one count of kidnapping and one count of transportation for unlawful sexual activity. He was later arrested, according to a press release from the U.S. District Attorney’s Office in New Mexico.

Clay has worked at Episd since 1994, according to his LinkedIn profile. This includes stints as a primary school teacher and primary and middle school principal before moving to central office in 2006. Since 2016, he has been director of analysis, strategy, evaluation and PEIMS, which is the state data management system for schools.

EPISD released a statement that said, in part, that “the current administration was not aware of any pending charges and/or allegations” until contacted by the FBI on Thursday morning. “We understand this is a very public and troubling situation, rest assured that El Paso ISD will take prompt employment action.”

EPISD did not respond to a question about Clay’s current employment status.

Clay is accused of offering a woman a ride to El Paso on the night of August 4, 2021, then driving her across state lines to her home in Anthony, New York. -Mexico, where he handcuffed her and sexually assaulted her, according to a court document. The woman was able to escape Clay’s car as he drove her home after the assault.

The FBI’s investigation into Clay began in June, during which the FBI learned that he “repeatedly sexually abused a minor…to whom Clay had close access from approximately 2012 to 2014”, according to an agent’s affidavit attached to the federal prosecutor’s motion to detain Clay pending. test. The teenager reported the sexual abuse in 2014 but recanted “due to threats made by Clay”, the affidavit states. He also alleges that he then raped her in 2021.

The federal judge hearing the case has yet to rule on Clay’s detention motion pending trial, according to court records.

While serving as principal of MacArthur Intermediate School, Clay was arrested in 2005 for soliciting prostitution, but the charge was dismissed in 2006 due to insufficient evidence, according to media reports at the time. Reports indicate that the PISD had placed him on paid leave pending an internal investigation. His LinkedIn profile shows that in June 2006 he was transferred from campus to central office, where he worked as a data mining manager for eight years.

Clay holds a valid teaching license, according to Texas Education Agency records.

According to district policy, the school board can terminate an employee’s contract if the employee is formally charged with a felony, a crime involving “moral turpitude,” or a crime involving a controlled substance.

The FBI is looking for other potential victims in the case and anyone with information is asked to contact the agency at 1-800-225-5324.

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