Sheriff, Superintendent issue statement about investigation

DeKalb County Superintendent Jason Barnett and DeKalb County Sheriff Nick Welden issued a joint statement Oct. 9, 2020, reassuring parents about the investigation of a former Sylvania teacher and coach accused of improper conduct.

DeKalb County Superintendent Jason Barnett and DeKalb County Sheriff Nick Welden issued a joint statement Friday reassuring parents about the investigation of a former Sylvania teacher and coach who was arrested Oct. 5 on allegations of improper conduct.

The comments also ask any potential victims to come forward and talk to investigators.

Before tendering his resignation that was accepted at an emergency meeting of the DeKalb County Board of Education on Oct. 2, Dustin Dalton served as a coach to varsity boys basketball (eighth and ninth grade), B Team volleyball and boys and girls tennis teams, according to a Board of Education meeting agenda.

In the statement, Barnett and Welden said an internal investigation by the administration of Sylvania School and the DeKalb County Board of Education into allegations of inappropriate behavior began Oct. 2.

“All agencies were immediately provided information gathered as a result of the internal investigation,” the statement reads. “That same day, the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office began their investigation alongside the Board of Education and [Alabama Department of Human Resources]. All three agencies have been in communication daily since the investigation began with a subsequent arrest made on Monday [Oct. 5] with charges of Enticing a Child for Immoral Purposes and Dissemination of Obscene Material. The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office and the DeKalb County Board of Education assures the public that we are working alongside one another to ensure that justice is served.”

Welden said, “Ensuring a full and adequate investigation is vital to ensuring that justice is served. We will work tirelessly to ensure the court has all the information needed to provide justice for the victims and their families.”

Barnett said, “I am sickened by the news and what has transpired, I pray for the families and for justice to be served. I appreciate the partnership with the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office and DHR and look forward to working alongside them for the duration of this investigation.”

The statement indicates “this is still very early in the investigation” and states that “more charges may be added at a later date. If anyone feels as they they have been a victim, please contact The DCSO Investigators at the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office (256) 845-3801.”

There is no mention in the statement about Dalton’s twin brother, Donavan, a now-former Fort Payne City Schools employee whose resignation was accepted in an emergency meeting of the Fort Payne Board of Education on Oct. 9. Dustin Dalton was reportedly released Oct. 6 on $100,000 bond, but Donavan Dalton, who is charged with having sexual relations with a student, sits in the DeKalb County Jail with no bond.

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