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Chatfield High School AD due to appear in court in October on mandatory reporting charge

Summons alleges administrator failed to report child abuse or neglect to authorities.

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colorado — Chatfield High School’s athletic director is due in court in late October to answer an accusation that he failed to report child abuse or neglect as required by state law.

According to court documents obtained by 9Wants to Know, Craig Aukland, 40, is scheduled to appear in Jefferson County Court on Oct. 29.

The incident that led to the citation has not been made public. The charge is a misdemeanor.

Aukland and the school’s principal, Chad Broer, were placed on paid leave while administrators conduct an internal investigation into “allegations of failing to follow district safety protocols.”

RELATED: Principal, athletic director on leave after safety violations spark district investigation

Cameron Bell, a spokeswoman for Jeffco Public Schools, told 9NEWS that she could not disclose anything about the investigation, which is being conducted by the district’s legal services department.

She said Tuesday there was no change in the job status of the two administrators.

“Please do not interpret an investigation as an indication of wrongdoing by our administrators,” said a letter that was sent home to Chatfield families. “Investigating allegations are part of our normal procedures in these types of situations.”

Both administrators have been in the district for more than a decade.

Broer started in August 2003 and has been Chatfield’s principal since July 2015. Aukland started with the district in August 2006 and has been an assistant principal at Chatfield since July 2016.

Bell said the phrase used in the letter sent to parents and students – “district safety protocols” – could cover a host of issues, including the manner in which administrators respond to student issues, the requirement that educators report suspected abuse to authorities, and the necessity of addressing issues at the school that could pose a hazard, such as broken equipment.

RELATED: COVID-19 outbreak in Denver school forces remote learning until Sept. 13

The district brought back a retired former Chatfield principal, Jim Ellis, to fill the position on an interim basis. Work is underway to name an interim athletic director.

Contact 9Wants to Know investigator Kevin Vaughan with tips about this or any story: kevin.vaughan@9news.com or 303-871-1862.

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