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Minnesota school board fires counselor facing sexual misconduct charge

RJ Polley was charged on Jan. 14 in Freeborn County District Court with third-degree criminal sexual conduct.

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ALBERT LEA, Minn. -- The Albert Lea school board on Monday voted to terminate high school counselor and girls basketball coach RJ Polley during a special meeting after a 12-day investigation by Albert Lea Area Schools.

Polley, who was charged on Jan. 14 in Freeborn County District Court with third-degree criminal sexual conduct, including penetration of a student, faces 15 years imprisonment as well as a $30,000 fine.

According to school board Chairman Neal Skaar, the district conducted its own investigation and found that based on credible evidence, "the district has determined that (Polley) did, in fact, engage in sexual acts with a minor in January 2022. By any standard, such conduct is immoral, reprehensible, and requires your immediate removal."

The district investigation, which Polley declined to participate in, also found that Polley falsified parts of his district application, submitted Nov. 11, which falsely said he completed employment with South Washington County Schools in Woodbury in May, though he had actually resigned April 23.

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