9 investigates texts between school superintendent, former teacher's assistant

by: Liz Foster Updated:

STANLY COUNTY, N.C. - Channel 9 started investigating text messages between the Stanly County school superintendent and a former teaching assistant.

Jessica Holt told Eyewitness News anchor Liz Foster she and Superintendent Bill Josey were in a relationship while she was teaching in the district and running for school board.

In one text message, Josey invited Holt to see his superintendent office after business hours.

"I know how to get in past the cameras," Josey said in the text.

Josey also sent Holt a nude picture of himself while he was out of town for a work conference.

"That's not a very good role model," Stanly County resident Carol Kaminski said.

Channel 9 obtained a letter that Holt's now-ex-husband sent to school board members. It claims Josey had an affair with his wife for more than a year. He goes on to ask if this behavior is acceptable for the superintendent of schools and includes part of the state's standards of professional conduct for educators.

The professional conduct standard reads in part: "Because the educator is entrusted with the care and education of small children and adolescents, the educator shall demonstrate a high standard of personal character and conduct."

"Does he still have a job? I can't believe he still has a job," said Kevin Chandler, who has lived in Stanly County his entire life.

Josey declined an interview with Channel 9.

"This matter has already been discussed and handled by the Board of Education.
Therefore, I am not able to comment further," he wrote in an email to Foster.

Foster also reached out to all seven school board members. Only two sent brief replies.
At-large Rep. Todd Swaringen referred Foster to the board chairman and the superintendent.

District 1 Rep. Sherry Vaughn stated the majority of the board decided not to take any further action regarding the matter. That means the state has not been asked to investigate any possible ethical violations.

"No, that ain't right," Chandler said.

"I think that because of politics, they're letting him slide and I disagree with that," Kaminski said.

Channel 9 is still awaiting more information from a records request to the school district. Foster asked for emails between school board members about this matter over the last few months.

Josey has a current restraining order against Holt. Holt said the two no longer communicate.