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Former D'Evelyn principal with domestic violence conviction named finalist to return as principal

D'Evelyn is an option school, and Jeffco Public Schools said their hiring process is school-run and deviates from the district's standard process.

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colorado — The former principal of D’Evelyn Jr./Sr. High School in Jefferson County has been named the sole finalist to return to the school as principal despite his arrest and conviction related to a domestic violence incident.

Jefferson County Sheriff's Office deputies arrested Tony Edwards for third-degree misdemeanor assault in November 2016. Court records show he was convicted in February 2017 of that assault charge and harassment. At the time of his arrest, he was placed on leave from the school.

Edwards was sentenced to two years' probation and was ordered to perform 60 hours of community service, the court records show.

RELATED: D'Evelyn High School principal found guilty of assault

According to an arrest affidavit, on Nov. 9, 2016, the victim called 911 and the dispatcher could hear a woman telling someone to "stop" and reported that the woman sounded hysterical. During the call, the woman was also heard saying, "you are abusive."

>The video above aired in 2017 when Edwards was convicted.

When deputies spoke with the victim, she reported that Edwards accused her of cheating and that this was "something that happened frequently," the affidavit says.

She denied ever cheating but said that due to past experiences, she dialed 911 but kept her phone hidden under her leg, the document says.

The victim said Edwards kicked her in her crotch area and "punched her in the ribs on the left side of her body," according to the document.

She reported that it "hurt" but went on to say, it "has been worse in the past." A deputy observed two red marks, each about an inch long, on the left side of her body, the document says.

Edwards chose not to make a statement about the incident when contacted by deputies and was booked on charges of domestic violence and assault.

RELATED: D'Evelyn High School principal arrested for assault

According to Jeffco Public Schools, the D’Evelyn Jr./Sr. High Principal Search Committee recommended Edwards as the sole finalist to fill its current open position for principal.

The district noted that D'Evelyn is a Jeffco Options school and has its own bylaws and memorandum of understanding (MOU) agreements with the district. As such, D’Evelyn uses a school-run hiring process rather than the district's standard principal hiring process.

As part of its process, the D’Evelyn Principal Search Committee arranged for several school community focus groups to be held next week for student and family feedback and input, the school district said.

The committee will submit its final candidate selection to the Board of Education for hiring consideration via the superintendent.

Jeffco Public Schools is allowed one non-voting member on the D’Evelyn Jr./Sr. Principal Search Committee, which is Community Superintendent Tom McMillan.

He provided a formal letter to the search committee stating that he does not support a recommendation for Edwards to be hired as principal.

"I am concerned that a recommendation to hire Mr. Edwards will be divisive, distracting, and disruptive for the school community, which is not in the best interests of our students," McMillan writes in the letter.

"To ensure transparency about my position through the next phase of hiring, I request that you notify Mr. Edwards that I do not support his being forwarded on as the sole candidate and I will not support a recommendation to the District for his hiring," McMillan writes.

His full letter is below.

9NEWS reached out D’Evelyn Jr./Sr. High School and was referred back to the school district.

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