West Ada principal placed on unpaid leave

A West Ada School District principal, facing two felony counts of injury to a child, is now on unpaid leave.

Tony Nelson

Star Middle School Principal Tony Nelson had been placed on paid administrative leave after his May 9 arrest.

But last week, district officials had become aware of a court order that prohibits him from being in the presence of minors, the Idaho Statesman reported Tuesday. As a result of the order, Nelson “cannot perform his work duties,” district spokesman Eric Exline told the Statesman’s Katy Moeller.

State law allows the district to place Nelson on unpaid leave. According to code, “Where there is a criminal court order preventing the certificated employee from being in the presence of minors or students, preventing the employee from being in the presence of any other adult individual employed at the school or detaining the employee in prison or jail, the certificated employee’s involuntary leave of absence shall be without pay due to the certificated employee’s inability to perform the essential functions of the employee’s position.”

If Nelson is acquitted or cleared, he will receive the pay that is withheld, the Statesman reported. Nelson makes $95,875 a year as principal, the Statesman reported.

Nelson and his wife Pamela Nelson are accused of abusing two children who were in their care.

Nelson is out on bond. He is next scheduled to appear in court on July 1.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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