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Arrested Councill administrators remain on leave

Published 8:30pm Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tallapoosa County Schools Superintendent Joe Windle said Tuesday that two administrators who were arrested as a result of an investigation into possible sexual assaults between students at the school remain on administrative leave.

The Dadeville Police Department arrested former Councill Principal Melanie McKinney and Guidance Counselor Corey Meadows in late July. McKinney is facing three counts of failure to report abuse of a child and three counts of obstruction of a governmental operation.  She is also facing one count of second-degree theft of property and one count of possession of a forged instrument. The theft charge relates to allegations that she used false information to secure free lunches for family members under the National School Lunch Program.

Meadows is charged with four counts of failure to report and three counts of obstruction of a governmental operation.

Both were placed on administrative leave at that time and have remained employees of the school system. Windle said that a change in status would require a vote of the board and at this point the investigation is ongoing.

“There has been no additional action as we await the completion of the investigation,” Windle said. “Their status is in keeping with board policy and they remain on administrative leave. We hope to work towards completing the investigation in the weeks to come.”

Both McKinney and Meadows are not in schools currently, but on what amounts to paid leave pending board action and the completion of the investigation.

Under Alabama Code 26-14-3, school officials must report any claims of abuse or be subject to up to six months in prison and a fine of up to $500. Officials claim that the two did not take that step.

Meadows’ attorney Don Eddins of Auburn said that his client has committed no crimes.

“After reviewing the warrants charging Mr. Meadows, we are appalled that he was charged,” Eddins said in an emailed statement. “Certainly, we will defend Mr. Meadows very aggressively. He is a career educator of deep faith, who got into education to help young people as a counselor. Now he is charged with crimes he did not even think of committing.”

Dadeville Police officials confirmed Tuesday that there have been no additional charges since the initial release in the case.