David Hay, the deputy chief of staff to schools Chancellor Richard Carranza, was arrested Sunday on charges of using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime, officials said.
Hay was taken into custody at a Milwaukee airport following an ongoing investigation, according to authorities in Wisconsin. The arrest was first reported in the New York Times.
Hay, 39, was booked into Wisconsin’s Winnebago County Jail, on Dec. 29, according to a statement from the Neenah Police Department. The arrest was part of an ongoing undercover Internet Crimes Against Children investigation, authorities said.A spokeswoman for the New York City education department said Hay was immediately terminated and added that he “had no regular contact with students in his role.”
“These allegations are incredibly disturbing and absolutely unacceptable. We took immediate action removing Mr. Hay,” spokeswoman Miranda Barbot wrote in an email. “We referred this to the Special Commissioner of Investigation and we will fully comply with any investigation.”
Hay, a former principal at a Wisconsin high school, now resides in Brooklyn. He earned a doctorate at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education and was hired by New York City’s education department in 2016 under then-Chancellor Carmen Farina, according to his LinkedIn profile.
In his role as chief of staff, Hay was a key behind-the-scenes advocate of the chancellor’s agenda, including implicit bias training. He was a point person on assessments and standardized testing, as well as the department’s Renewal turnaround program. Hay was frequently on hand at high profile school visits and press conferences.
Hay could not be reached for comment Monday, and it was unclear if he had obtained an attorney.
Alex Zimmerman contributed to this article