Anonymous sexual assault allegations against Denver school board member Tay Anderson were unfounded, but law firm investigating him found “behavior unbecoming of a board member,” a statement said published Wednesday by the council.
As a result, the Denver Public School Board will meet on Friday to consider censoring Anderson, the statement said.
Investigators concluded that Anderson had posted “coercive and intimidating witness” posts on social media and had “flirtatious social media contacts with a 16-year-old DPS student while he was a member of the DPS board. ‘administration,’ according to the company’s 96-page report.
The school board believes that Anderson and those who participated in the investigation were treated fairly.
“Too often, allegations made against black men are assumed to be true without sufficient verification or proof; and black women as well as women of color are treated with less sense of care and urgency. We didn’t want that to happen here. We believe everyone deserves due process, ”the statement read. “Director Anderson agreed. He and his lawyer both supported and welcomed this investigation when the Council authorized it in April 2021. ”
Anderson posted a statement on his social media accounts saying he was not surprised the sexual assault allegations were unfounded.
“I believe the most important message that can be conveyed at this time is that uncovering unfounded claims against me is by no means a victory over the survivors, but rather an opportunity to reconsider our way of seeing and thinking. to create not only restorative, but also transformative justice, for survivors, for those falsely accused and rightly sentenced, ”he wrote.
Anderson said he would not comment further on the report but would hold a press conference in the coming days.
The Denver Public School Board hired Investigations Law Group on April 6 after Black Lives Matter 5280 released a statement on behalf of an anonymous woman who accused Anderson of sexual assault. The woman asked Anderson to issue a public apology and seek professional advice.
The report was handed over to the school board lawyer and six of the seven school board members on Monday. Anderson received a redacted copy on Tuesday. The report was edited to protect students who participated in the investigation from retaliation, the board said.
The investigation was originally scheduled to end in a few months, but it spread throughout the summer after Mary-Katherine Brooks Fleming, a DPS relative and self-proclaimed community activist, testified before a legislative committee about a predator within the school system that was targeting students. Although she did not name Anderson in her testimony, DPS officials later confirmed she was referring to Anderson and said the Denver Police Department was aware of the allegations.
Anderson voluntarily took a break from school board duties at the end of May, but returned to work after a seven-week hiatus. During this time, Anderson said he considered taking his own life.
The allegations dealt a blow to Anderson, 23, considered by many to be a rising star in the Denver Democratic Party. His supporters applaud his candid views on topics ranging from policing in schools to providing free pads and tampons to female students. In 2020, his leadership during protests against police violence gained national attention.
Anderson was elected to a general school board seat in 2019 and will be re-elected in 2023. Prior to his election, Anderson was an employee of the school district.
Shortly after Black Lives Matter 5280 released its statement, three former members of Never Again Colorado, a short-lived youth organization seeking gun reform, told the Denver Post that they had witnessed sexual misconduct by Anderson in 2018.
Madison Rose, who was the group’s vice chairman, told The Post that Anderson, then 19, used his post as chairman to pressure women in relationships and that complaints ranged from compliments and touching unwelcome to unwelcome sexual advances. Some were minors, she said.
This is a developing story and will be updated.