Investigators who filed complaint about Knox County Schools chief of security placed on leave

Chief of Security Gus Paidousis

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Three security investigators employed by the Knox County school system who filed complaints about the chief of security have been placed on administrative leave.

The move happened Wednesday after Knox County Sheriff Jimmy “J.J.” Jones made the decision to revoke the unrestricted bond cards of Dan Stewart, Doug Ryerkerk and Bill Kee upon a review of their personnel files. The officers were then required to turn in their service weapons.

Previous story: Knox County Schools chief of security under investigation, employees fear he’ll ‘go postal’

The bond cards allowed them to carry a gun anywhere in Knox County schools, a requirement of serving in their positions. As a result, the school system placed them on administrative leave with pay, pending review and recommendations from the human resources office.

Jones says the personnel files of Stewart, Ryerkerk and Kee showed acts of misconduct that caused him “great concern.”

Web Extra: Letter from Knox County Sheriff J.J. Jones to Knox County Schools [PDF]

The three filed complaints last month against Chief of Security Gus Paidousis alleging he violated school board policy and federal law. The officers said Paidousis used profanity in the presence of employees, made threats of violence against the school system’s Deputy Law Director Susan Crabtree, racist and sexist comments against former and current employees and even expressed the desire to kill a former security officer who had embarrassed him.

They said security personnel are fearful for their jobs because of his “vindictive retaliatory nature and history of terminating employees during his tenure as security chief.”

A review of Paidousis’ personnel file, spanning more than 30 years, showed nothing but glowing reviews and evidence of outstanding performance.

 

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