MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Superintendent Joris Ray was not expected to be at Tuesday’s school board meeting that could decide his future with Memphis Shelby County Schools, but his lawyer will be there.
Sources tell us there has been talk of offering him a severance package.
A board member said Tuesday afternoon that the investigation into Ray was not complete.
When asked why the board would take a vote when the investigation is not complete, WREG was told it was because certain members on the board are pushing for a vote to happen now.
This worries at least one board member-elect, Keith Williams, who says he too has heard of a severance deal. If that is the case, he wonders why money was spent to hire a lawyer to look into whether Ray violated district policy by having affairs with women who worked for the district.
Ray has been on paid leave since that investigation started almost six weeks ago.
This all started when Ray’s wife of more than 20 years filed for divorce late last year.
In these filings, Tiffany Ray, who also worked for the district, dropped bombshell accusations, accusing her husband of multiple affairs with district employees and said other workers knew about it and even helped set up “outings” with the women.
The records also reveal Ray admitted to affairs.
News Channel 3 investigators uncovered personnel records showing Ray supervised two of the women with whom he’s accused of having affairs.
WREG obtained this Licensure Advancement Form for one of the women.
Ray’s signature is on one of her evaluations. It’s dated January 30, 2004.
That’s important because it would have been just 20 days after the woman signed a non-disclosure agreement following an affair with Ray, according to the divorce documents.
Ray’s signature was also on evaluations from 2008 and 2009 for another woman with whom he’s accused of having an affair.
Her performance is rated as “commendable” one year, and “exceptional” the next. Both documents list Joris Ray as “principal/supervisor.”
All of this is critical because district policy strongly discourages romantic or sexual relationships between a manager or other supervisory employees and their staff.
WREG also obtained records related to another woman Tiffany Ray accused of having knowledge of her husband’s affairs.
Documents reveal Ray had influence over this employee’s career dating back almost 20 years, with what was then Memphis City Schools.
We found Ray’s name and signature as an administrator on a 2007 staffing recommendation, and his electronic signature as the hiring authority appears on similar records in 2013 and 2014.
We also reached out to the state Board of Education to find out whether it was investigating Ray’s alleged conduct and if that could affect his educator’s license.
Previously, the answer was no. We’re working to find out if any of that has changed.