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Sex sting results in suspensions of Bluff City teacher, Johnson City school employee; Rogersville pastor resigns

Staff report • Oct 4, 2007 at 12:00 AM

Repercussions from a sex sting operation accusing men of soliciting sex in Johnson City parks has led to the suspension of a Bluff City Middle School teacher with pay.

James Thayer, 53, of Bristol, Tenn., was one of 40 men arrested this week by Johnson City Police, and is charged with disorderly conduct. Sullivan County school system officials say they learned about Thayer's arrest after reading about the sting in the Times-News.

A Johnson City School System employee was also charged in the sting. Brent Leach, 52, 712 Clamar St., is employed as a diagnostician by the schools. He has been suspended without pay following a meeting with Director of Schools Richard Bales on Tuesday morning.

Leach did not report for work on Monday following the release of information by Johnson City police that he was charged with disorderly conduct and indecent exposure.

After Tuesday’s meeting Bales said that Leach was suspended without pay until he appears before the courts and the schools have new information.

A local minister is also implicated in the investigation. Robert E. Riley has stepped down from the pulpit at Rogersville's First Baptist Church in connection with the sex sting at a Johnson City park.

Earlier stories:

Suspect in Johnson City park sex sting kills himself

Johnson City park sex sting snares 40 men

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