CHICAGO (CBS) — For the third time in about 15 months, a school has suspended a teacher, who is facing attempted murder charges stemming from a traffic altercation in the summer of 2017.
This time, George Washington Middle School in Lyons placed Andres Rodriguez on administrative leave. In a letter to parents, administrators stated they “became aware of news reports concerning alleged prior conduct of one of our staff members.”
Rodriguez was charged with attempted murder in July 2017 after a traffic altercation in Tinley Park. At the time, he worked as a teacher in Joliet. Then he was hired as a substitute teacher in Cicero–and subsequently suspended–before ending up as a sixth grade English teacher at George Washington.
The letter to George Washington parents, signed by co-interim superintendents Patrick Patt and Robert Madonia, said:
“Yesterday we became aware of news reports concerning alleged prior conduct of one of our staff members at George Washington Middle School. The alleged conduct occurred prior to the staff member being employed at Lyons School District. The School District has initiated an immediate review of this matter. We want to assure you that the safety and security of our students and staff is a top priority. To that end, we have placed the staff member on administrative leave until we are able to conclude our review. We understand that some of you may have questions regarding this matter. Please understand that there are legal constraints with respect to sharing, so we may not be able to provide you with all the information you seek. We will, however, endeavor to keep you updated to the greatest extent possible.”
Rodriguez, 39, was arrested in July of 2017, after he allegedly shot a man following a traffic dispute in Tinley Park.
Police said Rodriguez bumped into a vehicle in the 6900 block of 173rd Place, which led to a physical fight. He then allegedly shot the victim seven times.
He has been charged with attempted murder and was released on $500,000 bail.
He was suspended from his teaching job in Joliet in August 2017. Two weeks later, he started a new job as a substitute teacher at Unity Junior High School in Cicero but was placed on leave, after the district learned of the criminal case.
In a statement released in May 2018, Cicero District 99 Superintendent Rodolfo Hernandez said:
“Upon learning of this matter, District 99 immediately engaged its administrators, attorneys, and professionals with a directive to take any and all action to protect the interests of the students and the District. District 99 performed all necessary due diligence and administered proper employment action within the legal limits of the law, which included immediately placing the employee on leave from the District. This employee has been on leave and has not been on District grounds since February 16, 2018. Since such time, this employee has had no contact with any students, staff, or parents of District 99. As law enforcement has an active and pending investigation of Andres Rodriguez relative to the allegations against him, the District is not able to disclose any additional information.”