DENVER – The Denver Public Schools Board of Education said Tuesday it will hire an outside group to conduct an investigation into allegations made against Board Director Tay Anderson in recent weeks, which Anderson has denied.
The board has reached an agreement with Investigations Law Group, based in Denver, to conduct the investigation into the anonymous allegations of sexual assault levied against Anderson over the past two weeks.
The school board said in a statement that the independent investigation would be conducted in order to give fairness to the parties involved and said it would be “a thorough and independent fact-finding investigation.”
“We want to create space for all members of our community to be heard, while we also ensure a fair process for everyone involved,” the board said. “Director Anderson has been informed about this investigation and supports a fair and thorough process.”
In late March, the group Black Lives Matter 5280 issued an allegation from an anonymous woman that Anderson had sexually assaulted her. The group said the woman wanted Anderson to apologize publicly for the alleged incident.
Anderson issued a statement denying the allegations.
“These allegations are gut-wrenching because I have not sexually assaulted anyone,” Anderson said in the statement. “I am not aware of any past partners who have considered anything I’ve done sexual assault.”
A day later, he held a news conference alongside his attorney and again denied he had sexually assaulted anyone, asking for a fair process.
“I stand by my statement from yesterday, I have not sexually assaulted anyone. And I am not aware of a situation that can be construed as sexual assault. And I want to ensure that I and others have a fair, transparent and truly restorative process,” Anderson said.
Anderson said he is not affiliated with BLM 5280, but has worked with the group in the past. He said a rift in their relationship began to develop in January, but he is now looking to mend relations with the group.
The Denver School Board said it will not make any further comments about the allegations or investigation while it is ongoing and said everyone who wants to participate in the investigation should contact Investigations Law Group by clicking here.
“The Board looks forward to an independent view of the facts while we continue to serve the DPS community and focus on the important work of identifying a new superintendent and supporting our schools and students as we continue to reinvent education in the midst of a pandemic,” the board said. “Until the investigation is complete, the board will not make any additional statement.”
Anderson reiterated on Tuesday what he has previously said about welcoming an investigation and that he has still not seen any specific allegations or reports filed.
I have done nothing which would substantiate claims of sexual assault or unlawful behaviors. There are still no criminal investigations, charges or specific allegations which I can even respond to. I am grateful to the Denver Public Schools for launching an independent, third party investigation and look forward to a transparent process,” Anderson said.
“I will cooperate to the fullest extent with this independent team and am focused on the important work for the students of the Denver Public School system. I ask only that which DPS has also requested, namely to allow this investigation to proceed without further public comment by the parties involved.”