FORT VALLEY, Ga. – WSBTV has learned that an employee of Fort Valley State University in the center of sexual misconduct and criminal investigations of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation have resigned his position.
WSBTV investigative journalist Nicole Carr obtained the personnel file of Alecia Johnson through an open records request.
Johnson, the former executive assistant to the president of the university, worked for the state institution since 2004, receiving consistent star reviews.
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Last year, his salary increased to $ 64,000 with a promotion to supervise special university events, in addition to his duties in the Office of the President.
Johnson submitted a letter of resignation on April 18, the same day that Alpha Kappa's national office Alpha Sorority, Inc., revealed its own investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct involving a Fort Valley State University employee who is also a graduate member of the brotherhood.
Johnson served as a graduate advisor to the Alpha Beta chapter of the University fraternity, according to his own online profiles.
The letter, addressed to the President of the University Dr. Paul Jones says the following:
Greetings, Dr. Jones, I believe that it is better, under the circumstances, to present my resignation, with immediate effect. Please have my personal belongings packed and mailed to the address indicated or I can have someone pick them up next week.
Jones responded to the hand-delivered notice and accepted Johnson's resignation on the same day. He confirmed that his belongings would be packed and mailed to her.
Johnson has not been identified by the authorities.
Earlier this month, Johnson was referred to as an employee on administrative leave in the middle of the investigation, by statements issued by the university and the sisterhood of women.
Johnson's administrative absence notice was not available through the Open Records application because it is part of the active investigation, the university's legal department confirmed Carr.
On Thursday, students told Carr they did not know Johnson was involved in the investigation, but Jones assured them there is no need to worry. They also had a student assembly on the subject, reiterating that promise, according to the students.
"Everyone is really confused and they really want to know what's going on," said sophomore and SGA member Esther Aknola. "The president has been sending emails saying: 'Stay calm and everything is going to work by itself'"
"I do not know much about it, apart from the story that everyone else has heard," said Jevius Terry, another sophomore.
NATURE OF THE INVESTIGATION
WSBTV is aware of the detailed nature of the criminal investigation, but has chosen not to allude to it without access to the records.
Those records have been largely sealed by the state.
Now there are three active investigations on the Fort Valley campus. The only entity that confirms that the accusations are related to sexual misconduct is the Alpha Kappa Alpha fraternity.
The GBI has not published many details regarding its criminal investigation. From the beginning, it was confirmed that several agents were added to the case, as dozens of interviews and several search warrants for belongings, including laptops, were executed on campus earlier this month.
A request for open records for the Attorney General's investigation request letter on April 17 was denied to Carr by the GA office and the GBI agent, then leader, J.T. Ricketson, citing active criminal investigation.
There was also a request from the University system to start an investigation. A copy of that was requested by Carr on April 17. The application has been recognized, but has not yet been fulfilled.
Last week, the system's chancellor, Steve Wrigley, requested that Ricketson be removed from the case because of his receptiveness to media questions and concern to maintain the integrity of the case.
It was an unprecedented move by the Board of Regents
"From the moment it came to the case, Ricketson has been talking to the media," Wrigley wrote to the director of GBI, Vernon Keenan. "He has spoken to more journalists than the students and officials of Fort Valley State University."
"We need a professional, thorough and timely investigation," the letter continued. "Ricketson has shown that he can not provide this."
The GBI immediately replaced Ricketson.
Now the Alpha Kappa Alpha Brotherhood is sending its own investigator to the campus.
SUSPENSION OF SORORITY
Through an application for separate college open records, Carr obtained a letter addressed to the Alpha Beta chapter, which included the Dean of Students of Fort Valley State University.
The Regional Director of the South Atlantic came from the sisterhood of women, and described the suspension of the chapter of the campus through a "Withdrawal of Privileges."
"Members can not serve as representatives or spokespersons and can not represent themselves in any way as members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated," wrote Regional Director, Sharon Brown Harriot.
The letter also outlined plans for the organization to send a major Iivestigator from the Great Lakes Region to Fort Valley. Interviews with the members of the university will take place this weekend, according to the letter.
A spokesman for Fort Valley State University did not respond to a request for comment on Johnson's resignation.
The university system and the GBI also declined to offer more details on Thursday.
Disclaimer: Carr is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., but is not affiliated with a chapter.
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