UPDATE: School District Turns Over MAD Academy Report
The Santa Barbara Unified School District (SBUSD) submitted their MAD Academy investigation report to the Santa Barbara Police Department (SBPD) less than one day after it was reported the Police had not received it.
On Saturday, it was reported (see below) the SBPD and District Attorney's (DA) Office had not received information on allegations of wrongdoing at the MAD Academy even though SBUSD Superintendent Cary Matsuoka stated their findings had been submitted to the authorities.
On Monday, Jerry Roberts of Newsmakers, reports within 24 hours of the SBPD and DA's stating they have not received information regarding the MAD Academy abuse claims, a private investigator’s report prepared for SBSUD was subsequently received by SBPD.
“The contents of the document will be reviewed by our Investigations Division,” SBPD Public Information Officer Anthony Wagner told Newsmakers, confirming the department received the report on Sunday.
A school board meeting will be held on Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. where board members will discuss the MAD Academy fallout in a closed session. Members of the public are allowed to offer comment on closed session agenda items only, before the board goes into the confidential portion of its deliberations. After they return for the open portion of the meeting, there is time allotted for public comment on that portion of the agenda, but no longer on closed session items, reports Roberts.
Police and DA State They're Not Involved in MAD Academy Allegations
A new report claims the Santa Barbara Unified School District (SBUSD) has not turned over MAD Academy allegations to the Santa Barbara Police Department (SBPD) and District Attorney's (DA) Office, seeming to contradict the district's statement released on Friday.
According to Jerry Roberts of Newsmakers, the SBPD and the DA's office have not received a private investigator's report ordered by SBUSD investigating allegations of wrongdoing at the MAD Academy.
The SBUSD statement, written by Superintendent Cary Matsuoka, explained the district's communication with the SBPD and DA. It reads, "The district is taking every allegation related to the MAD Academy seriously, our investigation is on-going and we are in contact with the Santa Barbara Police Department and the District Attorney... The investigation is continuing and we have reported our activities to the Santa Barbara Police Department and the District Attorney, and offered to work with them to the fullest degree possible."
Matsuoka went on to state, "... immediately after a student complaint was communicated to district officials in January 2019, the district’s legal counsel engaged Public Interest Investigations, Inc. in Los Angeles, to investigate."
The complaint was in reference to an accusation against Pablo Sweeney, MAD's operations director, who resigned this past March during the investigation by the private investigator. Dan Williams, MAD's director, was placed on administrative leave in April, but was allowed to return to campus as "his presence on campus posed no risk to student safety," wrote Matsuoka. SBUSD then announced Williams, in his 40's, would retire on June 30.
There has been no comment from Matsuoka and SBUSD on a video that surfaced appearing to show Williams allegedly hosting a party with students to involving what looks to be marijuana.
Roberts reports Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley stated she was contacted by the school district's attorney. “They wanted to turn their investigation over to SBPD. I referred them to SBPD,” said Dudley.
Santa Barbara Police Department Public Information Officer Anthony Wagner said to Roberts, “We are aware that the school district has conducted an internal personnel investigation... However, at this point they have not forwarded the matter to us for criminal review.”
In Roberts report, it makes clear the DA and SBPD were only contacted by SBUSD's attorney on Friday a few hours prior to Matsuoka's press release. The law firm, Griffith & Thornburgh, apparently informed these public agencies they had conducted an internal personnel investigation but did not provide the details of said investigation.
The next school board meeting is scheduled for a closed session on Tuesday, May 28, at 5:00 p.m. and the regular session begins at 6:30 p.m. at the SBUSD office at 720 Santa Barbara Street. The agenda can be found here.