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Lawmen investigate teacher for improper student contact

A McDuffie County schoolteacher has become the focus of a local and state criminal investigation reportedly involving improper e-mails from the educator to at least one student, The McDuffie Mirror has learned.

Gary Nicholson, special agent in-charge of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Region 7 Office in Thomson, refused to identify the educator or the school involved.

Search warrants were executed by GBI agents along with deputies from the McDuffie County Sheriff's Department on Monday at two undisclosed locations. Authorities seized computer equipment and have requested Internet records. Agent Nicholson said. The equipment has been sent to a GBI Crime Lab for forensic examination.

Agent Nicholson explained that it could take a while for lab information to come back on the case.

He was unable to say whether an arrest was imminent.

Agent Nicholson said his office was requested by the McDuffie County Sheriff's Department to assist them with the investigation after it was reported to local authorities last week.

Toombs Judicial Circuit District Attorney Dennis C. Sanders confirmed that he had been in contact with Agent Nicholson about the case. Mr. Sanders said once the GBI has completed their investigation, the case file would be sent to his office for review.

"At this point, that's all I can tell you," Mr. Sanders said during a Tuesday interview.

McDuffie County School Superintendent Jim LeBrun said he couldn't release any information.

"Since this is a personnel matter, the board and I cannot discuss any personnel matter with the public or with the media," Mr. LeBrun said. "I hate to give you that answer, but that's the only answer I can give you right now. If in fact this does prove to be something that's going on, then by all means, we will assist the authorities in any way possible. The last thing we want is for any children to be harmed or for any employee to cause that harm, but that's all I can give you right now."



Web posted on Thursday, July 23, 2009













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