Williamson County Schools Superintendent Mike Looney was arrested on assault charges Wednesday.
Late Wednesday, the Franklin Police Department issued this “statement in response to multiple media inquiries regarding today’s arrest of Dr. Mike Looney, Williamson County Schools Superintendent:”
Yesterday, Franklin Police Officers and paramedics were dispatched to Franklin High School for a reported psychological emergency. While working with the student, the student’s mother, and school staff to transport the student to the hospital, Dr. Mike Looney, Williamson County Schools Superintendent, abruptly entered the conference room, grabbed the student by her arm, and forced her out of the school and to his vehicle. Officers intervened and had on-scene paramedics transport the student to the emergency room for evaluation.
Today, those officers consulted with the Williamson County Magistrate, who issued an arrest warrant, charging Dr. Looney with Assault. Dr. Looney surrendered himself at the Williamson County Jail after Franklin Police notified him of the warrant. Looney, charged with assault, is free on the $1,500 bond set by the Magistrate. He is due in court 03/08/18 at 1:00 pm.
Looney has served as Williamson County Superintendent of Schools since 2009.
The unusual circumstances of the incident that resulted in Looney’s arrest raise several troubling questions, one local attorney tells The Star.
- Who at Franklin High School notified Looney of this incident?
- Why did he immediately show up at Franklin High School?
- Why did he intervene?
- Why did he drag this girl out of the conference room to his personal vehicle?
- What is Dr. Looney’s relationship with this girl?
The Star posed these five questions late Wednesday to Carol Birdsong, the director of communications at the Williamson County School System, the Williamson County Sheriff’s Department, and the Franklin Police Department.
The Star also asked Birdsong if Looney will be placed on administrative leave until the charges are resolved, and if his employment contract has a criminal convictions clause.
The Star also posed an additional question to the Franklin Police Department and the Williamson County Sheriff’s Department:
Why was Dr. Looney not arrested at the time of the incident on Tuesday?
“Our statement regarding this case is at www.FranklinPDnews.com. Because of our pending criminal case against Dr. Looney, the Department will reserve further comment,” a Franklin Police Department spokesperson told The Star in a statement emailed late Wednesday.
Earlier this month, Looney signed a letter that was sent to county voters and paid for by a PAC supportive of an increase in the county sales tax for the purpose of funding additional school construction, as The Tennessee Star reported:
In the letter, which is clearly intended to support the sales tax increase, Looney advances the fiction that he is not taking a position on today’s vote:
My position does not allow me to advocate for-or-against the election, but I can confirm WCS currently lacks the funding needed to build additional classrooms needed for students. More specifically, we need to build schools and upgrade some of our older campuses.
Please use your voice to help our elected officials best determine how to provide for the school district’s needs. Time is of the essence. As always, if you have questions about our schools feel free to contact me at 615-293-0997.
Presumably, both Dr. Looney and Citizens for School Funding have run this mailing by their attorneys and have received the green light indicating that Looney’s language “threads the needle” sufficiently so as not to be in violation of either election law or his employment contract.
A challenge to the legal status of the communication, may still be forthcoming, sources tell The Tennessee Star.
The sales tax increase referendum passed by a 2-to-1 margin on February 6.
“You will need to contact FPD for answers. Our SRO was out sick that day,” a spokesperson for the Williamson County Sheriff’s Department told The Star Thursday morning.