An investigation into the district’s actions regarding sexual abuse and harassment complaints about a former teacher will start in about two weeks.
Following a long executive session, the Ketchikan School Board announced Thursday that they had hired attorney Suzanne Michael of Seattle.
Board Vice President Kim Hodne made this announcement about Micheal following that executive session: “She will advise the board regarding issues surrounding Douglas Edwards’ arrest and the circumstances involved. Outside counsel has retained an independent investigator to look into issues raised as a result of Doug Edwards’ arrest. We anticipate the investigation will commence within approximately 14 days.”
Edwards was the longtime culinary arts teacher at Ketchikan High School and is a former pastor. He retired at the end of last school year, and was arrested soon after on charges of sexual abuse of a minor. The charges state that he molested a 14-year-old girl on multiple occasions, including at the school.
Since then, others have come forward and said they had similar experiences, and reported them to district officials but nothing was done.
Michael is a partner with Fisher Phillips law firm in Seattle. She focuses on employment law, employment litigation and civil litigation, according to the firm’s website.