Patterson High School math teacher and Patterson Mayor Dennis McCord was the subject of a criminal investigation after allegations of inappropriate conduct with a student were received by PHS Principal Dave Smith. Police said an investigation into the allegation of an inappropriate relationship with a 15-year-old female student on social media has been closed without charges or an arrest.
McCord was placed on paid administrative leave by Patterson Joint Unified School District around Oct 20. PJUSD Superintendent’s office confirmed that McCord is still on administrative leave but would give no further information due to the nature of the personnel matter, per board policy.
Police Chief Joshua Clayton said, “Patterson Police were informed of the situation by the Patterson Unified School District. We conducted our own investigation in the matter to determine if any crime occurred. It was determined that there was no criminal violation related to the incident reported to us. At this time we have closed the case.”
A summary of the report states that due to the lack of criminal evidence and cooperation the case was closed.
The Patterson Police report states the parents of the girl found online communication between their daughter and McCord that they believed was inappropriate. According to the report, attempts were made by the parents to contact McCord at Patterson High about the social media communication between him and their daughter.
Patterson High Principal Dave Smith was reportedly contacted by the teen’s father who said he, “had an issue and wished to speak with her (sic) daughter’s teacher Dennis McCord.” The report further stated Smith later met with McCord to ask about an issue he was having with the student. McCord claimed in the report, quoting Smith, the student’s mother came to his classroom during second period that day and confronted him, saying the student’s mother accused him of having an inappropriate relationship with her daughter.
McCord admitted to adding the student on his personal Snapchat account, according to the report. One or two days prior to Oct. 20, McCord said he received a photo from the student who was wearing a bikini top and thong, the report states. After receiving the photo, McCord said in the report that he deleted the photo and blocked the student. McCord did not provide further details or say if there was any other communication between he and the student, the police report states.
In the report, McCord reported to Smith he has tutored the teen multiple times after school and that some of the tutoring sessions were conducted in a one-on-one setting in his classroom or elsewhere on the school campus. After the meeting with McCord, Smith contacted School Resource Officer Saul McNaul, expressing his concerns, according to the report. The report summary states Smith was “concerned more events may have occurred between the two in which he is not aware of.”
The parents of the student claim their daughter was not forthcoming and was exhibiting evasive behavior when they tried to get more information about her relationship with McCord, according to the report.
Patterson Police obtained the Snapchat usernames for both the student and a user identified as McCord and a search warrant allowed investigators to exam the private communication between the teacher and student.
Evidence obtained in the search warrant shows on Oct. 17, the teen sent a private message to McCord that contained the photo of herself, to which McCord responded, “wish I was there.”
The personnel investigation by PJUSD is ongoing and the Board of Trustees is aware of the investigation. They have not taken any public action. Board of Trustees President Ryan Segoviano said in a statement that “the board does not comment on personnel issues or complaints against staff that may be currently under review.”
An effort to reach McCord was unsuccessful at the time of posting of this story.