Big Spring Superintendent Michael Downes gets to keep his job

by Michael Stafford
NewsWest 9

Big Spring Superintendent Michael Downes gets to keep his job for now.

That's despite allegations of misconduct from a previous student, and an investigation by the Texas Education Agency.

School board members voted unanimously to extend Michael Downes contract for another year, but there is a catch.

School Board members approved that extension for Downes at his current salary level, but there are some built in modificiations.

The new agreement is conditioned that Downes will still have a valid Educator Certificate, when State Education Officials finish reviewing those pending sex allegations.

If Downes loses his certificate, he'd lose his job.

As NewsWest Nine first reported, a former student of Downes back in the 80's, Tiffany Carothers, recently accused Downes of having inappropriate relationships with several students in Lefors, Texas.

Downes has maintained his innocence while the State reviews the complaint.

Here's the Big Spring School District Attorney's reaction on board's vote.

"Well, Mr. Downes' contract and all Superintendent contracts are conditioned upon a valid Superintendent Certificate, and if he no longer has that, a change in his contract would occur," T. Alan Rhoads, Big Spring I.S.D. Attorney, said.

Rhodes expects the District to hear back from the State sometime after January 30th.

From what we understand, the statute of limitations has run out on any possible criminal charges, but Carothers has said there could be civil charges filed.

We'll keep you posted on any new developments.