Boyd appears in court

Published 10:53 am Friday, May 9, 2014

Lowndes County Superintendent Daniel Boyd made his first appearance in Hayneville’s municipal court on Thursday after being arrested on 243 counts of reckless endangerment.

Boyd was expected to enter a plea of not guilty, but following Judge Fred Bell’s decision to recuse himself from the case, Boyd and his legal team decided to hold off on entering a plea until a new judge is appointed to the case.

“We have conferred among ourselves and decided not to enter a plea one way or another,” said Hank Sanders, one of the attorneys representing Boyd.

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The charges against Boyd arose from his handling of the case of a former Hayneville Middle School janitor.

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.

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.

On Thursday it was revealed that Boyd will face 108 counts of reckless endangerment in Hayneville, but that the remaining 135 charges would have to be tried in a separate jurisdiction since they were filed outside the Hayneville Police Department’s jurisdiction.

Hayneville Police Chief Kelvin Mitchell said the total number of counts against Boyd has not been dropped, but that he is seeking to get the remaining 135 charges tried in the proper jurisdiction.

“Removing the 135 counts that occurred at the Mosses elementary school (Central Elementary where the former janitor was transferred prior to his arrest) and placing them in the proper court system is what we’re seeking to do at this time,” Mitchell said.
Eric Mackey, executive director of the school superintendents of Alabama, expressed support for Boyd.

“We think Dr. Boyd did the right thing,” he said. “He followed the law. He followed the board policy. He followed the proper procedures. He made the proper report to DHR. He did what he was supposed to do. It sets a very dangerous precedent that a person who follows the law and does what they are supposed to do and carries out their duty with due diligence can then be dragged into court.”