Details of superintendent’s relationship with student released

March 24, 2010

Dean Smith

By KAREN VELIE

Superintendent Dean Smith agreed to resign rather than face termination for an inappropriate relationship with a former student.

An investigation authorized by the San Miguel School Board resulted in charges for terminating Smith, 55.

The investigation found that Smith had utilized his position as an administrator to develop a relationship with a former student, we will call “Anne,” and that Smith had touched, kissed, and drank alcohol with her before she turned 18, according to district documents received through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Smith is slated to remain on paid administrative leave until his official June 30 resignation.

“While it is true that I met ‘Anne’ while she was a student, my association with her and her family was perfectly appropriate, and was known and approved by her mother,” Smith said in his written response to the charges. “The only touching that occurred in middle school was innocent and public.”

Smith also asserts that the only time he witnessed “Anne” drinking alcohol was when another adult served the underage girl while her mother looked on.

The investigation was prompted by allegations, first reported by CalCoastNews, that Smith had been seen spending time with “Anne,” before she turned 18. Shortly after “Anne” turned 18, she was photographed in public, sharing intimate exchanges with Smith.

According to the charges, sometime around 2004, Smith, then principal of Templeton Middle School, first met and began spending time with “Anne,” a seventh grader at the time. Smith said he stepped in to play the role of a “real father.”

Smith said that ‘Anne’ had turned to him after experiencing sexual abuse and he helped her, according to the charges. “Smith stated he used his ‘pastor hat’ when interacting with her.”

After he left Templeton Middle School for the superintendent position in San Miguel, Smith continued his relationship with “Anne.” Using his district e-mail account, Smith began e-mailing “Anne” in 2007. In 2008, “Anne” and Smith began texting and communicating through Facebook.

“I am totally stressed out and out of control,” Smith e-mailed “Anne” on Jan. 9, 2008. “I need out. Can you help?”

In April 2009, “Anne” e-mailed Smith to tell him that her phone was broken, “I can’t survive. How am I supposed to text you?”

On May 1, 2009, Smith sent “Anne” a Facebook message, “I love you and I’m done with this for now.”

Smith also admitted to investigators, according to the charges, that he had romantic feelings for “Anne” before May 18, 2009, when she turned 18. He contends he did not have a sexual relationship with “Anne” while she was a minor.

The board also said that Smith’s regular absences, while he was in Templeton with “Anne,” interfered with his ability to perform his duties. During his frequent escapes, Smith passed his administrative duties on to other employees, as well as to San Luis Obispo Sheriff Deputy Clinton Cole.

On Nov. 10, 2009, while Cole was covering for Smith, Cole signed suspension orders for two students and sent them home. However, Cole was not authorized to pen suspensions, according to the school board’s charges.

Investigators also discovered Smith had been using his district computer to look at pictures of young models, either nude or in seductive poses, and clips of a partially nude Brooke Shields in the film “Pretty Baby.”

In the film, a 12-year-old Shields plays a young woman who is raised in a brothel and becomes involved with a much older man.

Smith chastised the board for investigating him after the sheriff’s department had looked into the issue and concluded nothing illegal had occurred.

“At the time the board adopted the charges, its members knew both that the San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s department had investigated, six month before, a complaint filed by a person unknown to me, of sexual abuse of a minor relating to “Anne” and me, and also that nothing had come of that investigation,” Smith said in his response. “Yet, the board persisted.”

Despite the fact that the sheriff’s probe found no illegal activity, some board members and law enforcement officials nevertheless question the thoroughness of the sheriff’s investigation. Just hours after the first report had been made to law enforcement, someone allegedly warned Smith about the impending investigation.

Deputy Cole, the officer assigned to the San Miguel Joint Unified School District beat, is a friend of Smith’s, and at one time lived on Smith’s property.


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37 Comments

  1. willie says:

    Things are not what they always appear.
    Sometimes the bad win and the good lose in the short term / visa vera in the long term.
    (No, I don’t know any of them, been there seen a lot of this type of stuff!)

    (0) 4 Total Votes - 2 up - 2 down
    • cheseburger says:

      Did I miss something? Did he beat her halfway up? Plastic assault rifle? He was only coming over to show her a good time?

      (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
      • cheseburger says:

        Well if that doesn’t take the cake wrong article!

        (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  2. willie says:

    I don’t see it as pre-planned or devised, it just happened.
    On the other hand (learning a little about the President ordering a on way sting investigation) I see it as a blessing in disguise for him and type of person he is.

    (-3) 5 Total Votes - 1 up - 4 down
    • thinkaboutit says:

      So if you had a 7th grader and a 50-something year old guy started spending inordinate amounts of time with her and started romancing her, that would be fine by you because “it just happened?”

      No, sir. This man made a long string of plans to get this girl in his emotional clutches. His grooming of her manifested in a multitude of choice over a period of years. That doesn’t just “happen,” any more than simple assault happens. Thing is, there was nothing “simple” about the damage he has done to her. This girl may never recover from what this lying, opportunistic pedophile did to her. To think that her family condoned it and a sheriff buddy tipped him off is just as reprehensible.

      Dean Smith had a lot of fans in students and parents. Over the years, it became apparent that something was odd about him to number of people. An overt comment here or an overly familiar attitude there. But because of the reputation he’d built, the worst seemed unthinkable. In retrospect, as this situation became revealed, it dawned on people that the gut feeling they had about this guy was actually true.

      Will any of what I just said enlighten you? I doubt it. Because people believe what they want to believe, just like a lot of people didn’t want to believe Dean Smith was and is a pervert. The difference is when the truth finally comes to indisputable light. When people still refuse to believe, it’s because they are in big time denial, or their perverted themselves. Which one are you?

      (12) 16 Total Votes - 14 up - 2 down
  3. Booty JuJu says:

    Yes it’s shocking that a north county pastor / educator / high fallutin citizen was fiddling the flock while parents were soaked in Bud Light and Bensons.

    (-2) 10 Total Votes - 4 up - 6 down
  4. cheseburger says:

    Creepy, old, lectures, fat pedophile, he’ll probably dump “Anne” for a twelve year old boy!!!!!!! Somebody throw this guy a rope, and I don’t mean to pull him to safety.

    (8) 16 Total Votes - 12 up - 4 down
  5. Lilylu says:

    This absolutely sounds like he broke the law and needs to be reinvestigated and prosecuted. There should be no paid leave, no retirement, but he should get free room and board in a state prison. He absolutely preyed on this young girl who had already been abused and became her father figure. Her feelings of acceptance and ‘love’ for her father figure are now completely mixed up with romantic sexual ‘love’. She will someday need years of therapy to untangle the twisted mess Mr. Smith has made of her life. That being said, he should never, ever, work with or be around children again. He is a pedophile. It is obvious he preyed on the whole family if he has the support of her mother. He has destroyed his own family and devasted his wife who is a lovely woman. For all concerned, especially young girls, he needs to be put away for a long, long, time.

    (24) 30 Total Votes - 27 up - 3 down
    • MAD HATTER says:

      I have to agree with what you are saying. I have read this over and over and still can’t believe what I am reading. I am still wondering why it took soooo long and where was all the “mandated reporters” at, What’s more troubling is there was a Deputy Sheriff involved and all these teachers but nobody seemed to speak up till now. Isn’t this the same place where the local school secretary tried to take out a student? How about all the “school officials” who stood by and watched as this guy gallivanted around the state with this girl in tow. And to the mom of Annie, how could you allow this. What type of sick puppy are you? I’m done ranting for now.

      (13) 15 Total Votes - 14 up - 1 down
  6. willie says:

    If I remember correctly,
    Civil Service can dis-own you (no pension nor benefits) completely
    If you have been found at the administrative level to have committed
    1. Fraud
    2. Sexual Offensive
    3. Serious crime or tort

    (15) 23 Total Votes - 19 up - 4 down
  7. he_is_a_hypocrit says:

    Investigators also discovered Smith had been using his district computer to look at pictures of young models, either nude or in seductive poses, and clips of a partially nude Brooke Shields in the film “Pretty Baby.”

    EWWWWWWWWWW!!!!

    (16) 20 Total Votes - 18 up - 2 down

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