#sextrafficking | Superintendent Charged With Sex Trafficking, Child Pornography Could Be Terminated By End Of March | #tinder | #pof | #match


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The Altoona School District superintendent indicted on sex trafficking and child pornography charges could, at the latest, be terminated by the end of March, according to a district official.

In the meantime, the school board has brought back a former interim superintendent to oversee the district until the end of the school year.

At a Thursday meeting, the Altoona School Board named Ronald Walsh as interim superintendent to lead the district as it navigates the fallout from the arrest last week of Daniel Peggs, who has led the Altoona School District since 2018.

Peggs is charged with producing child pornography and sex trafficking a girl between October 2015 and May 2016. Peggs has been released from jail but is under house arrest and staying with family in the Madison suburb of Oregon.

The girl was not an Altoona School District student, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

A press release issued Friday by the Altoona School District announced the hiring of interim superintendent Walsh.

It said the district expects him to serve in that role through the end of the school year in June and that the district will begin a search for a new superintendent within “the next few days.”

Local media reports have indicated the school board has asked Peggs to resign as superintendent. But in an interview with WPR, Walsh said he did not think the board has “overtly” asked for Peggs’ resignation. But Walsh said whether through resignation or other means, Peggs will not be employed by the district by the end of March.  

“Right now we are not paying Mr. Peggs any salary,” said Walsh. “He’s only receiving required benefits. The law requires us to pay out his accrued vacation and personal days. And that will expire, we think, on March 24, at which time he’s certainly going to be unable to report back to work in that clause of the contract. So, we think the contract is going to, in essence, evaporate at that point.”

Walsh said he believes the board chose him as interim superintendent because of his familiarity with the district. Walsh served as interim leader of Altoona schools prior to Peggs being hired as superintendent in 2018.

Walsh said the arrest of Peggs and his alleged crimes have shaken the district, particularly staff that trusted him. Walsh said the incident could be unearthing prior traumas experienced by staff and students but healing is underway.

“That takes a lot of time and sensitivity because this is a major emotional event in the lives of a lot of people, and we have to be very sensitive to that,” Walsh said. “And as we’re dealing with that, we’ve still got a budget to deal with. We’ve still got a budget to prepare for next year. We still have initiatives in terms of curriculum and initiatives.”

In the days following Peggs arrest, Walsh said the community was in shock and many were looking for explanations of how a superintendent could be hired after allegedly committing sex crimes involving a child. During a press conference the day of Peggs arrest, district officials said a consultant conducting background checks on him yielded no results. Peggs has no prior criminal history in Wisconsin’s Circuit Court database.

“And I think as the days went on people realized that, no, this is one person’s fault,” said Walsh. “This is one person that kept a deep dark secret that somehow compartmentalized this part of his life and kept it a secret from everybody else.”

The district expects to make a decision related to hiring a new superintendent before the end of April, according to the Friday press release.


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