Friday, February 26, 2010

Keith McGuire Certification Hearing Reopened

For our 500th post, we return to the subject of teacher sex...

According to sources at the Associated Press, a ruling on the teacher certification of Brian Keith McGuire, formerly of Lexington in Lauderdale County, was to have been handed down by the end of this month. Once again, there has been a delay in a final judge's ruling on the revocation of McGuire's Alabama State license.

For those who came in late, two Clements students accused the teacher/coach of inappropriate behavior in 2002. McGuire stated that he "had a problem" and resigned his position at the Limestone County school without any formal charges being filed against him.

Six years later, other charges from McGuire's stay at Clements came to light, and the Alabama Department of Education sought to have his teaching license revoked for "immoral conduct or unbecoming or indecent behavior." By the time testimony was completed in the hearing, separate rape charges had been levied against McGuire. Presiding judge Walter Turner then placed his decision on hold until the rape case was adjudicated.

A Lauderdale County jury found McGuire not guilty of the rape charges last July, but by then Judge Turner had retired, and the case was referred to a second jurist who had to evaluate the extensive testimony before ruling. According to sources at the Athens News Courier, the replacement judge had promised a verdict by the end of February. Unfortunately for all, this strange case has taken another convoluted turn.

James R. Ward, associate counsel for the Alabama Department of Education and current prosecutor in the State's complaint, has informed us that Judge Walter Turner has returned to the case. Further, attorneys representing McGuire (in all probability provided by the Alabama Education Association) have requested that the case be reopened for additional testimony on behalf of McGuire.

Ward has provided no timeline for the hearing other than it may be "several weeks" before any further action is taken. At this rate, Keith McGuire will be ready to collect his state retirement before a decision is made on the revocation of his teaching license. Surely after eight years, both sides are ready for closure in this highly publicized proceeding.

For the complete background on this case, you may wish to visit the Shoals Crime site.