2 Duval school police staffers resign after co-worker's gun pawned

District: Employees knew co-worker pawned service weapon, but said nothing

By Jim Piggott - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Two Jacksonville school safety assistants have resigned after a Duval County Public Schools investigation found that they failed to report a co-worker had pawned his service weapon.

Sye Austin and Demetrius Leveston stepped down Wednesday after learning that the school district planned to terminate their probationary employment, according to a statement from the district.

The statement said Austin and Leveston were found to have known that fellow school safety assistant James Johnson had pawned off his service weapon, but did not come forward with that information.

The pair was in violation of Duval School Police Department policy because the agency's rules require employees who know of misconduct to report it to another employee or supervisor, the statement said.

Johnson, whose wife is an elementary school principal, was arrested Oct. 17 on a charge of false verification of ownership to a secondhand dealer and receiving goods under $300.

“All employees of our police department are fully aware of their responsibilities to report knowledge of misconduct,” said School Police Director Micheal Edwards. “Failure to conduct oneself according to our policies and procedures will not be tolerated.”

Austin and Leveston were on probation at the time of their resignation, which is the standard for new hires. The school safety assistants are hourly employees and make about $20,600 a year on average.

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