Hamilton administrators reassigned as hazing investigation continues

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Principal Ken James, left, and ex-football coach Steve Belles, right. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5/Facebook) Principal Ken James, left, and ex-football coach Steve Belles, right. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5/Facebook)
Hamilton High School in Chandler. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 News) Hamilton High School in Chandler. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 News)
CHANDLER, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Three members of the administration of Chandler's Hamilton High School have been placed on reassigned duties as the investigation into a hazing incident at the school continues. 

The move comes one day after parents expressed outrage that the faculty members were still on campus grounds as the Maricopa County Attorney's Office investigation into the incident continues.

[RELATED: Parents want Hamilton employees put on leave

Chandler Unified School District officials announced Friday that Principal Ken James, Athletic Director Shawn Rustad and teacher Steve Belles will be reassigned to work in other district-related duties away from the Hamilton High campus, effective this coming Monday. The change will be in place until further notice.

[Special Section: Hamilton High School Hazing Case]

Chandler Unified School District officials said Hamilton Assistant Principal Chris Farabee will be the new acting principal starting Monday. 

"I was honored when they asked and I’m honored to be able to serve those kids," said Farabee.  

Sharon Vanis will serve as acting athletic director. An unnamed teacher will assume responsibility for Mr. Belles's classes.

The Chandler School Board President, Bob Rice, says the district was waiting for the County Attorney to make that decision first before they acted. He says since that process was beginning to drag on, they went ahead and removed the three men from campus.

“I don't want to speak on those allegations or the open investigation, I just want to make sure every day I’m focused on serving our kids,” said Farabee. 

The hazing scandal at Hamilton High School involves, at this point, six confirmed victims, but detectives believe there are more victims who have not come forward.

If you are a victim or your child is a victim, police urge you to call the Chandler Police Department at 480-782-4130 or Silent Witness at either 480-WITNESS (948-6377) or 1-800-343-TIPS (8477). Spanish speakers may call 480-TESTIGO (837-8446). (Click or tap phone number to call from this story on your mobile device.)
 
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Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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