John Ward, Montgomery Co Sheriff's Ofc
Montgomery County, N.C. - A former principal in Montgomery County has admitted he had a sexual relationship with a student.
Prosecutors charged John Ward with indecent liberties with a student and contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile. Wednesday, WFMY News 2 learned the school district received a complaint about Ward and the student back in 2011, but did not report the complaint to the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office.
Superintendent Dale Ellis says the district investigated the complaint in 2011, but could not find any evidence it was true. Ellis also says the district was not under any legal obligation to report the allegation to authorities.
However, the sheriff's office disagrees. WFMY is looking more into that conflict.
Ellis says he didn't hear anything else about the relationship until this week.
"Obviously, we don't want these types of issues happening in our schools. Safety is our top priority. I want parents to realize that when we investigate these issues, very quick action is taken," Ellis said.
The district called the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office right away this week after receiving another complaint about Ward. Sheriff's deputies came and questioned Ward. He confessed to the relationship. In addition, the Sheriff's Office confirms the relationship could have produced a baby.
"I asked the victim, 'Could the child possibly be Mr. Wards' she said, 'Yes,'" Lt. Kelley Howell said.
A paternity test will be the only way to know. The sheriff's office did not know if or when that might happen.
Ward's wife works for the Department of Social Services. She has been suspended with pay from her job while the investigation into her husband continues. The sheriff's office told WFMY News 2 they did not think Mrs. Ward knew about the affair until late last week.
Superintendent Ellis says every district employee will now go through additional ethics training because of this incident.
WFMY News 2