SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) – A 67-year-old convicted sex offender named Richard Jones is running for a school board position in the Granite School District.
He was found guilty of sexually abusing a child in 1990 and served 15 years in prison before regaining his freedom in 2005.
Jones says his past is in the past and he would like to move forward. He told ABC 4 over the phone, “Twenty-three years ago I was convicted of a sex offense, a criminal confusion, and that's all been taken care of. It's behind us."
He says he is ready to serve and states there is no danger because he won’t be around students.
ABC 4 talked with parents in the school district to ask what they think.
“My gut reaction would probably be it's not a good idea, but if he's in a position where he doesn't have a contact with the students maybe it'd be OK,” said Amanda Vermillion.
“I don't think it's a good idea because there could be a chance he could be around the students,” said David Bryant from Salt Lake City.
“I wouldn't want my children going to that school,” said Debbie Wells from Sandy.
Granite District spokesman Ben Horsley wouldn’t comment because it would bias the election, which is only five months away.
The district later released the following statement outlining its policy regarding sex offenders:
"The Board of Education finds that conviction of a sexual offense against a child is incompatible with unfettered access to school property and school children, regardless of whether sentences have been served or probations have ended. The purpose of this policy is to regulate the access of persons who have been convicted of sexual offenses against children to schools, school property and children."
Jones can run because there is no law to dictate who can and can’t run.
He said he would talk with ABC 4 in more detail either Monday or Tuesday.