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School board candidate suspended over past tickets

Shawn D. Lewis
The Detroit News

Detroit – A candidate for Detroit Public Schools Community District school board is on leave after officials learned he had been ticketed for soliciting prostitutes in 2005 and 2011.

Ryan Townsend, 34, was a paraprofessional at Trix Performance Academy, according to Myrrha Satow, founder and president of Performance Academies. She said Townsend had been working at the charter school since 2014. There are two other Performance Academies in Detroit: Murphy and Stewart.

“He is on leave pending an investigation,” Satow said in a phone interview Friday. “I learned about it the same day as everyone else.”

Satow said she made the decision to put Townsend on leave.

Townsend could not be reached because all listed phone numbers for him were disconnected.

Satow said she could not reveal much more about the case because “our attorneys have been clear about the protections he has.”

She added: “We do thorough backgrorund checks on our staff and nothing came up pertaining to this matter.”

SLewis@detroitnews.com

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