An independent special needs education teacher at the Educational Service Unit 2 district in Fremont is facing three alleged criminal charges in Dodge County Court after her arrest in late June.
Lauren G. Burkey, 31, of Fremont was arrested by a Dodge County Sheriff’s Office deputy on June 22 after a traffic stop near the intersection of U.S. Highway 30 and Dodge County Road 7.
Burkey has been charged with suspicion of DUI, over .15 blood alcohol content, a Class W misdemeanor; suspicion of speeding, a Nebraska traffic infraction; and suspicion of possession on open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle, also a Nebraska traffic infraction.
She was scheduled to be arraigned on the three alleged charges on July 25.
The Tribune was informed of Burkey’s arrest by a member of the public who has been granted anonymity.
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The source alleged Burkey’s arrest was not being publicized by the ESU 2 administration and also raised concerns about if a teacher can maintain their job after an arrest and possible conviction on criminal charges.
In a telephone interview on June 23, Ted Deturk, executive director of ESU 2, admitted that one of his teaching staff had been arrested for alleged DUI and that the district was investigating the person and the incident. He refused to verify the identity of the teacher.
Attempts to contact Burkey were unsuccessful.
While he refused to identify the teacher who was arrested, Deturk told the Tribune that the teacher in question had reported the arrest to him. He also verified that Burkey is a teacher at the school and has been employed for at least five years.
“(She) is (in) a Level 3 behavior (classroom). She is working with students with special needs who are not finding success at their home district,” Deturk said of Burkey.
Deturk said he does not comment on personnel matters.
“I am aware of (the arrest), and it is a personnel matter and I am not going to comment on that,” Deturk added. “It is summertime right now. We do not (have classes). I am aware of the situation.”
Deturk said that under ESU 2 policies, a teacher who may be convicted of or pleaded guilty to an alleged DUI offense could possibly remain employed at the district, but he also stated that termination is a potential punishment for criminal convictions.
“We have a policy under ‘personnel,’ which is what we’ve been working through now,” Deturk said of the incident in late June. “We do not monitor the courts or anything through law enforcement. We are a self-report organization. We always want our people to be up front with us.”
Attempts to verify whether or not Burkey was still employed by ESU 2 as July 25 have been unsuccessful.