A former top Department of Education official pleaded guilty to a federal child pornography charge in Wisconsin on Tuesday.
David Hay, who was most recently the deputy chief of staff to Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza, swapped sexually explicit emails with a 15-year-old boy while employed as the principal of a Wisconsin high school in May 2010, according to prosecutors.
Hay was canned from the DOE after his Dec. 2019 arrest at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport for attempting to lure a 14-year-old to a local hotel room with a hot tub for sex.
The disgraced educator was busted after months of messaging a cop he believed was a teen he’d be meeting up with named “Colton.”
After that arrest, the charges of which were eventually dropped, police discovered years-old photos of a naked student on Hay’s cell phone, leading to the additional child pornography charge, prosecutors have said.
Officials have admitted that Hay was never fully vetted by the city’s Department of Investigation and blamed the failure on a massive backlog of 6,000 background checks that have plagued the office for years.
The DOE conducted two checks of Hay in 2016 and 2018. However, the DOE check is limited to just fingerprinting and criminal database searches and did not turn up any red flags.
Hay was making $168,000 annually at the time of his arrest. Carranza recently replaced Hay with Gabrielle Ramos, who’s pulling in $181,750 a year.
At his Dec. 18 sentencing in Green Bay, Hay faces a minimum of five years in prison and up to 20 years behind bars.