RSU 64 board to address allegations against Central High principal at Wednesday meeting

By Alex Barber, BDN Staff
Posted July 10, 2013, at 1:12 p.m.

CORINTH, Maine — The superintendent of RSU 64 said he has completed his investigation into the alleged illegal conduct of Central High School Principal Garry Spencer stemming from a May car crash and the issue will be taken up by the school board Wednesday night.

A special school board meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at Central High School and there is an item on the agenda for executive session to discuss the matter, superintendent Daniel Higgins said.

“We’re going to be consulting with our legal counsel at that meeting,” Higgins said Wednesday. He declined to offer any further details.

RSU 64 is comprised of Bradford, Corinth, Hudson, Kenduskeag and Stetson.

Higgins had been conducting an investigation into Spencer’s alleged conduct following charges by Old Town police that the principal left the scene of a property damage accident and filed a false report. Spencer was summoned by Old Town police on May 12, a week after he allegedly hit two parked cars in Old Town, abandoned his car and reported his vehicle stolen on May 5.

A message left for Spencer was not immediately returned on Wednesday.

Spencer, 56, of Old Town pleaded not guilty to the charges on June 20 at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor.

Spencer was placed on paid administrative leave shortly after Higgins began his investigation in May. He’ll continue to be on paid leave until the investigation is complete and findings are determined, said Higgins. Spencer’s salary is $78,589.

Assistant Principal Matt Arsenault and half-time guidance counselor and former principal Marty Gray have assumed administrative duties in Spencer’s absence, said Higgins.

Spencer has been the principal at Central High since 2004. He previously served as assistant principal from 2001 to 2004.

A dispositional conference is scheduled for Aug. 12 at the Penobscot Judicial Center for Spencer, according to District Attorney R. Christopher Almy. If Spencer doesn’t change his plea, his trial is scheduled for Sept. 4.

Lincoln Street resident David Bishop, describing the incident involving Spencer on May 5, said his 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier was parked on his lawn parallel to the road and his 2010 Dodge Charger was parked in the driveway, perpendicular to the road. The Cavalier was struck by another vehicle and pushed 20 or 30 feet backwards into the Charger, enough to move the Charger sideways by 2 feet, he said.

Spencer initially told police that he had been working in his yard but left his keys in his car and later noticed it was missing, according to Old Town police Capt. Kyle Smart.

On May 9, an insurance investigator told Old Town police that he found a witness who saw Spencer driving the damaged vehicle after the crash.

Three days later, Spencer spoke with police.

“After a discussion, he admitted to driving the vehicle that day,” Smart said. “[Spencer] panicked and didn’t know what to do. He went home and reported his car stolen.”

Leaving the scene of a property damage accident is a Class E crime punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Filing a false police report is a Class D crime punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine.

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/07/10/news/penobscot/rsu-64-board-to-address-allegations-against-central-high-principal-at-wednesday-meeting/ printed on August 1, 2014