Riverhead School District

Outside law firm investigating allegations against Charles Regan, district officials say

An outside law firm is representing the Riverhead Central School District in connection to the notice of claim filed with allegations of sexual misconduct against reassigned high school principal Charles Regan, Superintendent Aurelia Henriquez announced Tuesday in a message on the district website.

The district’s insurance carrier, New York Schools Insurance Reciprocal, has appointed and is paying for an unnamed, outside law firm to investigate the “circumstances that have transpired this year pertaining to Mr. Regan” and his hiring process in 2006, the statement said.

Senior Anastasia Stapon, 18, filed the notice of claim May 6, a precursor to a lawsuit, after Mr. Regan “sexually assaulted” her in his office April 30 and “predatorily groomed” her for months, beginning in January, according to the court filing. She is suing the school district and its board members for at least $10 million, attorney John Ray of Miller Place said last month.

“We sympathize with our community and we know you have questions,” the statement from the superintendent said. “Unfortunately, we are legally prohibited from discussing many details surrounding this situation. Please understand, we are doing our due diligence to ensure the integrity of this investigation.”

District attorney Christopher Venator and the team from Ingerman Smith, L.L.P. are leading the investigation and providing documentation to authorities where necessary, the statement said.

Dr. Henriquez said the district must follow New York State Education Law, which requires the district to pay a tenured employee placed on reassignment to home.

“Any certified employee that has tenure in New York State is entitled to due process protections,” the statement said. “While there are limited exceptions to this rule, those do not apply in this situation.”

As announced at a previous school board meeting, administrators are expected to move forward “with action” later this month.

Dr. Henriquez’s statement was posted on the district website, but not sent to media outlets, nor were parents notified to check the website via a robocall as with earlier statements.

Earlier this week, a second victim who is now 35 took legal action against the reassigned administrator after learning of recent allegations raised by Ms. Stapon. She has chosen to stay private at this time.

That victim filed a notice of claim May 14, stating that a sexual assault occurred between her and Mr. Regan nearly 20 years ago in the Eastport-South Manor School District, a press release said. Mr. Ray, also representing that victim, said she plans to sue the district for $20 million and expected to report the incident to police.

Mr. Regan, 48, of Quogue replaced David Wicks as high school principal in 2013, when Mr. Wicks became the district’s assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction.

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