Tay Anderson

DPS Director Tay Anderson

Tay Anderson, a director of the Denver Public Schools Board of Education, announced Sunday night that he would step down temporarily while investigations into sexual harassment claims continue.

In his statement, first posted on Twitter, Anderson said "These unsubstantiated false allegations have caused a great deal of trauma to our entire district and our students deserve better.

"These false claims have put my family and I in harms way and now as a father and son I must protect those I love first, therefore I will be stepping back from everyday board functions until the completion of the independent investigation."

Anderson was first accused of sexual misconduct in March by BlackLivesMatter5280, based on the account of an anonymous woman who came forward in February and asked for a public apology from Anderson and that he seek help.

Last Tuesday, a parent testified at a legislative committee hearing that a district employee sexually assaulted over 60 students, according to a statement from the district's Board of Education.

"The board was made aware of testimony at the Colorado Capitol this week and was later informed that the accusations were against Director Tay Anderson. The Denver Police are also aware of these accusations," the statement read.

Mary-Katherine Brooks Fleming, a mother of three DPS students, claimed while testifying to the House Judiciary Committee in support of Senate Bill 088 Tuesday that over 61 current DPS students and one former had been sexually assaulted by an unnamed district employee, whom she did not identify during her testimony.

Jay Casillas, a public information officer for the Denver Police Department said they are aware of the allegations and have been in contact with Brooks Fleming, but no one has come forward to report the alleged assaults. 

"If someone is a victim, we encourage them to contact Denver Police," Casillas said in a statement to The Denver Gazette on Saturday.

In his Sunday statement, Anderson continues that he is confident the ongoing investigation will prove what he has said all along. "I have never sexually assaulted anyone. I look forward to returning in the coming months to continue the fight for Denver students," his statement said.

But Anderson added that he is not willing to be a distraction to the work of the school district or the investigation: "I will not be making further comments until the investigation is completed, at which time I intend to return to the job I was duly elected to."

Anderson was elected to the Denver Public Schools board as an at-large member in 2019. He has filed for re-election for 2023.

As a response to the allegations, DPS Board of Education hired Investigations Law Group of Denver to conduct an investigation. 

"The Board of Education is committed to ensure a fair and thorough investigation," a statement read. "It is critically important that all individuals feel safe and supported to participate in this process, and the Board will use any and all authority it has to protect those who participate. Retaliation or intimidation of witnesses will not be tolerated."

The Board is encouraging anyone with relevant information involving the past or latest accusations to contact interviews@ilgdenver.com.

The Denver Gazette's David Mullen contributed to this report.

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