MEMPHIS, Tenn.– The Memphis-Shelby County School Board voted to initiate an independent investigation into possible policy violations by Superintendent Joris Ray and placed the superintendent on paid leave.
The board voted 7-2 during a special called meeting Wednesday.
Former U.S. Attorney Edward Stanton and former MLGW counsel Herman Morris were appointed to investigate.
The school board began an external investigation after divorce documents showed Ray admitted to infidelity in his marriage and listed names of women who could be school district employees.
Ray was placed on paid administrative leave, effective July 15. As superintendent, Ray earns a salary of $293,550.
“I’m disappointed by the board’s actions tonight,” Ray said in a brief statement after the vote. “However, I want to make it clear that I respect the board’s oversight. They will have my full cooperation.”
We attempted to question Ray about his extramarital affairs but were blocked by security. Ray nor Board Chair Michelle Mikissick would answer the question directly.
“I cannot speak to any sort of allegations at this point,” Mikissick said.
The board did not tell us how much this outside counsel will cost or how long it could last.
Dr. Ray’s paid leave goes into effect Thursday. We’re told the two deputy superintendents will take on his role before school starts in three weeks.