Some Bethel parents are wondering why former Gladys Jung Elementary School Principal Chris Carmichael remained in his position for nearly a semester after a report was made in June that he had an inappropriate physical relationship with a minor.
The Lower Kuskokwim School District’s attorney, Eugenia "Jeannie" Sleeper, said that if the school district had known about the investigation Carmichael would have been placed on administrative leave, but she says that the district was not informed until the night of his arrest.
Acting Bethel Police Chief Amy Davis confirmed that Bethel PD did not alert LKSD of the report regarding Carmichael’s alleged inappropriate behavior with a minor. Davis says that she held back that information to protect an undercover operation.
In June 2019, a former student at Gladys Jung Elementary School approached Bethel Police Department to report Carmichael for inappropriately touching her a year or two earlier, while she was a minor, but Davis says that there was no corroborating evidence.
Davis said that she began using the alleged victim’s social media account to message Carmichael to gather more evidence. Davis said that she thought informing LKSD would risk alerting Carmichael to the undercover investigation, which would prevent police from gathering enough evidence to file charges.
In November, the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force teamed up with Bethel Police Department to complete the undercover investigation. FBI and Bethel Police Department arrested Carmichael with the help of Alaska State Troopers on Dec. 10.