Attorney claims IPS firing longtime employees, instead of those accused of crime

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- An attorney for an Indianapolis Public Schools Assistant Principal called the district "incompetent" during a bid to save the man's job.

Attorney Kevin Betz argued the case during a termination hearing before the school board Thursday night.

The district has recommended the firing of Assistant Principal Bill Jensen. Jensen, who has been employed with the district for over 40 years, was the first person to take a report in February from a parent who said counselor Shana Taylor was having sex with her son. Taylor was later charged with multiple counts of child seduction.

Jensen, according to court paperwork, called his superior, and then Human Resources Director Tina Hester. Detectives said Hester told Jensen not to involve police. No one in the district reported the alleged abuse until almost a week later.

In paperwork filed by Jensen's attorney, he said that he had a police officer on standby after taking the report, but that "...Ms. Hester stated: 'Let's not involve the police just  yet.' It was my understanding that Child Protective Services and the police work in a cooperative arrangement on suspected child abuse and neglect cases. Involving the police would trigger the involvement of CPS and vice versa."

Marion County Prosecutors charged Hester and HR investigator Shalon Dabney. Both women took deals to avoid prosecution.

Betz said that despite those charges, it is Jensen and another administrator, who he also represents, who are being fired.

"The people who need to be held accountable are not being held accountable and the people who should not be held accountable are being held accountable for following the policy," Betz said.

Also in documents turned over to FOX59 by Betz, it was revealed that some within the district knew that Taylor had contacted the victim after finding out she was being investigated.

"We got a call ... that Ms. Taylor showed up at their apartment this morning after this her meeting with you," the school's principal said in an email to Dabney.

Betz even went so far as to point the finger at Superintendent Lewis Ferebee and administrators, saying they are scapegoating his clients, while at the same time planning to pay attorney's fees for Hester and Dabney.

"It’s just crazy. It is a display of total incompetence and total politics and ridiculous behavior by the administration of this school district and shows a culture of caring more about public relations and caring more about the politics of the situation and covering their own butt than caring about students," Betz said.

School board members and Ferebee did not offer any comment after the hearing. They took the issue under advisement and are expected to make a decision soon. Another executive session is scheduled for Monday.

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