SBI investigates Johnston deputy, teacher for ‘inappropriate’ relationship with students

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Johnston County Sheriff's Office

A former Johnston County Sheriff’s deputy and a former Johnston County high school teacher are being investigated due to allegations that they initiated an “inappropriate” relationship with former students, the State Bureau of Investigation said Thursday.

Johnston District Attorney Susan Doyle asked the SBI to investigate Mike Medlin, a former deputy and school resource officer with Johnston County Public Schools, and his wife, Ami Medlin, a teacher at Corinth Holders High School, an SBI spokeswoman confirmed to The News & Observer.

The investigation, first reported by WRAL, stems from former students’ allegations against the Medlins.

No charges have been filed in the investigation.

Both Medlins were fired from their respective jobs. Ami Medlin was fired on May 16, Johnston County Public Schools spokeswoman Caitlin Furr confirmed.

The SBI did not release further details on the investigation. A May 23 termination letter to Medlin from Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell, however, describes the allegations.

Bizzell said he learned of the investigation of an “improper and inappropriate relationship” with students at the high school where Medlin served as a school resource officer.

Conflicting reports

According to Bizzell’s letter, Medlin admitted during the investigation several factors indicating relationships with students going beyond his duties as a school resource officer.

One student was invited to his house and had access to their bedroom, where he had been in bed with his wife, to “watch movies,” the letter described.

Medlin also admitted to spending time with the student while he was intoxicated.

He had previously denied that the nature of his relationship with the student exceed an “SRO-student friendship” and also had defended that he had allowed other students in his home, such as a young female student who babysat his children.

Medlin was “confronted with a known photograph” in the investigation of that student in his bed and had denied knowing or recalling who she was, despite the student admittedly having been to his home before.

The former deputy also denied social media communications with the former students, then recanted his statements.

“These occurrences, among others, have led to the conclusion that you have been untruthful in this investigation and that you have failed to discharge your duty of truthfully cooperating in an internal investigation,” wrote Bizzell.

In addition to the allegations, the Office found that Medlin violated policies and procedures.

Mike Medlin has until 5 p.m. on June 2 to submit a written response to the Sheriff’s Office regarding his termination, the letter states.

Meanwhile, Furr said “Johnston County Public Schools takes any allegations of staff misconduct seriously.”

“Although we cannot discuss the specifics of an investigation into alleged staff misconduct, we can confirm that whenever such allegations arise, our administration responds swiftly, by investigating the allegations and, sometimes, by removing staff from classrooms pending completion of a thorough review,” Furr told The N&O in a statement. “Beyond that, the school system is not at liberty to provide additional information.”

McClatchy News reporter Madeleine List contributed reporting to this story.

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