High bar for firing kept teacher on paid leave for 14 months

Each letter arrived differently over the course of four years: by mail, by hand and a third by email.

The letters, each initiating a paid leave of absence, instructed special education teacher Preston Lewis to stay away from Sacramento City Unified schools while the district and at times the police investigated allegations of child sex abuse.

During the third and most recent leave, Lewis was paid to stay home for seven months. For another two weeks, he received $347 a day while booked at Sacramento County jail, where he awaits trial on charges of child sex crimes.

Although Lewis is still employed by Sacramento City Unified, the district moved him to unpaid leave on April 26, more than four years after a state agency revoked his foster care license for allegedly fondling a boy. By the time the district cut him off, Lewis had spent a total of 14 months on three separate paid leaves since 2007. He was paid $87,000 during that time.

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