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Mansfield principal placed on leave

MANSFIELD -- Mansfield High School Principal Steven Gast was placed on paid administrative leave Wednesday afternoon, pending a personnel investigation.

Citing the investigation, Superintendent Vernon Newsom said he could not give more details.

"Parents do not need to worry," Newsom said. "Business will be conducted as normal on campus."

Newsom said the investigation could take about two weeks.

Assistant Principal Jeff Pollard will oversee the school temporarily.

Gast, 50, could not be reached for comment.

The matter has not been reported to school police, school district Police Chief Mike Leyman said.

"If [personnel] believes that we need to be notified, I’m sure we’ll be notified," Leyman said. "All we investigate is reported criminal offenses. To my knowledge, it has not risen to that."

School board President Dan Phillips said he could not discuss the investigation other than to say he is confident that it will be conducted properly.

Gast joined the district in 2004. He was principal at Fossil Ridge High School in the Keller school district, at Godley High School and at Brownwood High School.

Correspondent Robert Cadwallader contributed to this report.