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Northwest school trustee indicted

03/28/2013 11:27 PM

03/29/2013 12:02 AM

A counselor at Colleyville Heritage High School who is also a Northwest school district board member has been indicted on four counts of improper relationship between an educator and a student, authorities said Thursday.

Kerry Jones, 50, of Trophy Club was indicted by a Denton County grand jury after an investigation of a complaint by male student who is legally an adult.

Jones is also a licensed foster parent and a deputy constable in Denton County, officials said.

In a letter to parents Thursday, Colleyville Heritage Principal Joe Harrington said school officials learned of the indictments Thursday afternoon.

Jones has been on administrative leave since Aug. 10, "pending the results of a police investigation," Harrington said.

"Police have confirmed the alleged misconduct did not occur on school property and that no other students related to CHHS are involved," Harrington wrote.

Investigators reported that Jones and the student had sexual encounters at Jones' home between April 2010 and March 2011, said Cmdr. Lee Delk, a spokesman for the Trophy Club Police Department.

The student was 17 at the time of the first encounter, Delk said.

Two months later, Jones was elected to the school board.

In August, the student notified Child Protective Services about the encounters, Delk said. At the time, Jones, the father of three adult sons, was a foster parent caring for an 8-year-old boy. The student told a CPS caseworker that he was concerned Jones might do something inappropriate with the boy.

CPS subsequently informed Trophy Club police, and an investigation of the student's complaint began, Delk said.

Marissa Gonzales, a CPS spokeswoman, said Thursday night that she could not discuss investigations involving foster children except in cases of a death or critical injury. She confirmed, however, that Jones had been a foster parent since 2002.

Jamie Beck, a spokeswoman for the Denton County district attorney's office, said she does not provide information about indictments until the person indicted has been arrested.

Delk said that his office had not received an arrest warrant from the district attorney's office but that he expects one early next week.

Jones could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Trophy Club is in the Northwest school district. Colleyville Heritage is in the Grapevine-Colleyville district.

Jones was a counselor at Northwest High School in 1992-09 and was the school's soccer coach in 1992-95, according to a Northwest school district news release.

His term on the school board ends in May 2014.

The board will "continue to monitor the situation and evaluate what action, if any, is appropriate with regard to Mr. Jones' position" as a trustee, board President Mel Fuller said in a news release.

Lesley Weaver, a district spokeswoman, said that under district policy, Jones "can remain on the board unless there is a conviction or if he chooses to resign."

As of Thursday afternoon, district officials had received no word from Jones about his intentions, she said.

District officials have known since August that Jones was under investigation, Weaver said. He has attended board meetings "off and on" since. He was present at Monday's meeting, Weaver said.

On Jones' 2011 campaign website, he said he has a master's degree in education and counseling from the University of North Texas and has three grown sons. The website also says he was a reserve deputy constable in Denton County and held a state peace officer's license.

Delk said he was aware that Jones had been a deputy constable for several years.

The constable Jones reports to could not be reached Thursday night to say whether Jones is still working.

Bill Miller,

817-390-7684

Twitter, @Bill_MillerST

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