Hayneville chief reinstated, plans to arrest Boyd

Published 4:02 pm Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Hayneville Police Chief Kelvin Mitchell is back on the job following an indefinite suspension without pay for the way he planned to arrest Lowndes County School Superintendent Dr. Daniel Boyd.

However, Mitchell made it clear Tuesday afternoon that he still intends to charge Boyd with more than 200 counts of reckless endangerment in in connection with the way Boyd handled an allegation that eventually led to a Hayneville Middle School janitor pleading guilty to enticing a child for immoral purposes.

Lee Andrew Saffold, 47, of Hayneville was indicted on charges of sexual abuse second degree, enticing a child and sexual contact with a student, but pleaded guilty to enticing a child for immoral purposes.

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Mitchell said he plans to arrest Boyd on 243 counts of reckless endangerment.

“This number comes from the number of students at the Hayneville Middle School, the number of female students at the Hayneville Middle School, and the number of female students at the Central Elementary School,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell said he has a warrant for Boyd’s arrest.

When contacted regarding his potential arrest, Boyd said:  “I followed all the guidelines based on our polices and did everything that I felt was appropriate. Time will tell with this particular matter. In a matter of a few weeks we are going to know the full outcome of everything.”

Boyd said following an allegation against Saffold that he touched a student inappropriately, the incident was reported to the Department of Human Resources and that Saffold was placed on leave with pay pending an investigation. He said Saffold was on leave for approximately seven days before reporting back to work at the Central Office Oct. 11 and was placed at Central Elementary where he worked until his arrest on Oct. 24.

Mitchell said he feels that Boyd acted recklessly and placed students in danger by allowing Saffold to continue working in the school system.

Hayneville Mayor Kelvin Lawrence suspended Mitchell indefinitely and without pay for “insubordination” following last Thursday’s Lowndes County Board of Education meeting. He said he was not pleased with the way the police chief was going about an effort the arrest the school superintendent at the school board meeting.

“That was a direct order for him not to do it the way he was planning to do it,” Lawrence said. “I just didn’t want the way he was trying to arrest the superintendent to happen that way.”

Mitchell returned to work on Tuesday after being reinstated by the mayor and town council following Monday’s meeting.

“The decision was made to bring Chief Mitchell back effective (Tuesday) with some conditions,” Lawrence said following an executive session Monday night.

On Tuesday, Mitchell addressed the condition of his return.

“We made an agreement that I would allow Dr. Boyd by 4 p.m. Friday to turn himself in. And of course I said 100 percent I agree with it, have no problem with it at all. That was the only, if you would use the word condition. That’s the only thing that was brought to my attention (Tuesday). I said unequivocally yes, no problem at all.”

Mitchell said miscommunication led to his suspension.

“Mayor Lawrence and I have a great professional and personal relationship,” Mitchell said. “We had a miscommunication about the arrest and that’s the only thing that transpired. We miscommunicated as to the arrest.”