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Details emerge after WAHS administrator charged with letting student drive drunk

Albemarle County officials have released new details regarding the assistant principal who has been charged with letting a drunk student drive home.

Former Western Albemarle High School Assistant Principal Harold Hackney is no longer with the county school division and could face jail time after he allegedly allowed a student who had been drinking off campus with classmates drive home earlier this month.

Hackney, 50, faces two counts of “causing or encouraging acts rendering children delinquent, abused, etc.,” according to the Albemarle County Police Department.

Each count is a Class 1 misdemeanor, which carries with it a maximum sentence of 12 months in jail and possibly a fine of up to $2,500.

The student who allegedly drove under the influence will not be charged, police have said.

“ACPD has no intentions of charging the students,” county police spokeswoman Abbey Stumpf told The Daily Progress via text on Wednesday.

The students, however, “certainly are subject to disciplinary procedures” from the school, county schools spokesman Phil Giaramita told The Daily Progress on Thursday.

Giarimita said that the students in the incident “were off campus for some period of time” the day of March 6.

Upon returning to campus around lunchtime, he said, the students were sent to Hackney’s office because they appeared under the influence.

It was there that the police say Hackney told one of the students to drive the others home.

A county schools employee reported Hackney to the Albemarle County Police Department that day.

And the school’s principal, Jennifer Sublette, learned of Hackney’s actions herself later that day, according to authorities.

Sublette asked Hackney to contact the students’ parents and ensure they made it home safely and notified the school division’s human resources department, police said. She also reached out to the students’ families herself.

“Once I learned of this incident and its initial handling, we called the families involved to ensure the well-being of the students. We then followed normal behavior management protocols,” Sublette said in a letter sent to parents on Wednesday evening.

Hackney turned himself into police and was placed on administrative leave on March 7, according to authorities.

Giaramita said the decision to place Hackney on leaves was “immediately when we became aware of the incident.”

Hackney is no longer with the school division.

Typically, Giaramita said, a school administrator would contact a student’s family if they were drunk or otherwise under the influence at school. Then the student’s parents would pick them up or the school would make other arrangements to get them home.


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