Allegations of Kirbyville HS principal's affair with secretary had been addressed in 2015
Former Kirbyville CISD superintendent Richard Hazlewood tells KFDM that he dealt with rumors of an alleged affair between Kirbyville High principal Dennis Reeves and Reeves’ former secretary a year-and-a-half ago, and that he considered the matter settled until it came out this week as part of the investigation into Reeves’ death.
Police believe Reeves, 45, committed suicide Tuesday, May 23. Reeves' body was found inside his truck, in the high school parking lot moments after a meeting he had with current superintendent Tommy Wallis and assistant superintendent Georgia Sayers.
Wallis and Sayers told police they had gone to the high school to confront Reeves with the allegation they said was made by the secretary. Police say while the administrators met with Reeves, the secretary was typing up her statement in the superintendent’s office - a statement police say she never finished because of Reeves’ death.
Wallis told police that Reeves denied the allegation. Wallis says he told Reeves that he was placing him on administrative leave pending a district investigation, and that if the investigation concluded that Reeves was lying, he would be fired. But as part of an ultimatum, Wallis told Reeves he could resign and avoid an investigation. Wallis says Reeves resigned.
But in a phone interview with KFDM Wednesday, Hazlewood said the rumors of an affair between Reeves and his former secretary had reached his desk in 2015, when Hazlewood was still superintendent.
Hazlewood says he wanted to nip the rumors in the bud, and he called both of them to his office, and both denied the allegation. Hazlewood says they both said there was “absolutely nothing to it”, and they both were ready to squash the rumors and put them behind them.
Hazlewood says he was proactive in handling the situation, and says there was never any proof or documentation given to him about an affair.
The retired superintendent says that in the spring of 2016, the secretary had the opportunity to transfer to another campus and she did.
Hazlewood says since then, “I have not heard a word, not a word, nothing" until this past week, when he says he was shocked it was brought up again.
Sayers was also Hazelwood's assistant superintendent and aware that the matter had been addressed previously.
"Ms. Sayers was assistant superintendent and when she and I got wind of the rumors, she and I both investigated and there was absolutely nothing to it," Hazlewood said.
And while Wallis and Sayers claim the secretary confessed to the affair, Police Chief Paul Brister says he has not talked to the woman, because she’s retained a lawyer who has advised her against commenting.
Brister says he never saw the statement she had been typing in the superintendent’s office, and Brister says since it was not completed, it would not have her signature, so it would not do the investigation any good.
Hazlewood told us he had the utmost respect for Reeves and the secretary. He added that in February of this year, just before Hazlewood retired as superintendent, Reeves’ contract as principal was extended another two year. Reeves had already been with the district for three years.
After Hazlewood’s retirement, Wallis took over as superintendent on April 1.
Wallis was previously employed as Bryan ISD’s superintendent, and his departure from there was under controversial conditions.
According to KBTX-TV, Wallis has a pending lawsuit with the Attorney General's Office over the release of public records related to his employment.
A hearing related to that case is set for this fall in a Travis County courtroom.