The band director at East Jessamine High School has been suspended during an investigation into claims he sold school instruments online for personal gain.
Rex Payton is in his second year as director of the program and also has directed the band at West Jessamine High. Formal charges against him are expected in the next week, Nicholasville police Sgt. Scott Harvey said Thursday.
“It’s kind of a slow process because there has to be an audit of school property that he would have access to, and rounding up the paperwork and the appropriate people to do that just takes time,” Harvey said.
The investigation began after police received a tip from someone who had bought an instrument from Payton online.
“We got a call from somebody who had purchased one of the instruments,” Harvey said. “When they received it, they found a property label for the school board inside one of the instruments.”
Harvey said Payton has allegedly sold the instruments since the summer and profited between $5,000 and $7,000. Specific charges will depend on the outcome of the investigation, Harvey said.
Jessamine County Schools superintendent Lu Young said Thursday that Payton came to work at East Jessamine High on Monday and met with officials that afternoon, when he was suspended pending an internal investigation. The school district is working in conjunction with the police on the matter, Young said.
Members of the Jessamine County Board of Education voiced disapproval of East High’s choice to hire Payton in June 2010; he had been arrested on a charge of loitering with the purpose of prostitution in Lexington in May 2009, when he was the director at West High. That charge was dismissed three months later.