Assistant principal resigns

Tia Lynn Ivey News

The Morgan County Board of Education (BOE) accepted the resignation of Ryan Rickard, an assistant principal at Morgan County High School (MCHS) who was under investigation last year by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). The BOE unanimously accepted Rickard’s resignation last Wednesday. Rickard was placed on paid leave back in December after HSI officers showed up at MCHS in regards to the assistant principal.

“We were made aware of allegations regarding an assistant principal in the Morgan County School District by law enforcement,” said Dr. James Woodard, superintendent of Morgan County schools back in December. “We take the safety of our students seriously and have taken action we deem appropriate. The school administrator will not be present at school. As a personnel matter, it is the district’s practice not to discuss the specifics in public.”

After months in limbo, Rickard, who has not been charged with any crime to date, submitted his letter of resignation finally coming to an agreement with the school system. Although Rickard has not returned to the school for work since December, the school system agreed to pay him his salary through April, grant him unpaid leave through this May, and put into effect his resignation on May 31, 2018.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office would neither confirm nor deny if HIS’s investigation into Rickard has been closed or is ongoing. HSI, a division of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), would not comment on the nature of the investigation either, but did confirm agents were sent to MCHS as part of an investigation in December.

“I can confirm that we were at that location but cannot comment on the reasons that prompted us to be there,” said Bryan Cox, a spokesperson for HSI. “No criminal charges have been filed at this time, no arrests have been made, and therefore as an agency policy, we cannot discuss any of the particulars of the investigation.”

However, Cox noted back in December that ICE does not only deal with illegal immigrants.

“We do not just track the illegal immigration of people, but the illegal immigration of things,” said Cox. “Our branch of law enforcement deals with any criminal act that involves the cross-border movement of people or goods.”

According to Cox, examples of such acts include: weapons trafficking, drug smuggling, sex trafficking, and Internet crime.

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