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Grand Rapids Schools’ chief of staff on leave, district investigating phone conversation | #schoolsaftey


GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Larry Johnson, chief of staff for Grand Rapids Public Schools, is temporarily off the job amid an investigation into his handling of a phone conversation with a parent.

District leaders on Monday, Nov. 20 confirmed the investigation in a written statement. They said that Johnson’s job duties are temporarily being handled by other administrators.

Johnson joined the district in 1997 as the executive director of public safety and school security and he retains that title, as well as chief of staff.

The district statement did not give details surrounding the investigation and officials did not respond to requests for comment prior to publication.

“The district is aware of a concern raised by a parent about the handling of a telephone conversation involving Chief of Staff Larry Johnson. Because of Mr. Johnson’s role within the district, an outside firm was brought in to handle the review of this matter,” according to the statement.

Related: Grand Rapids Schools executive Larry Johnson honored as 2017 Giant Among Giants

Grand Rapids police do not have a criminal complaint open against Johnson, a police spokesperson said.

Reached by phone Monday, Johnson confirmed that he’s been on paid administrative leave for about three weeks. He offered a one-sentence statement regarding allegations, reported by WOOD TV, that he made a threat.

“There was no physical threat made,” he said.

Johnson began working for the school district after first working as a police officer with Grand Rapids Police Department.

GRPS has over 1,800 employees and 15 sworn police officers and 25 security officers.

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