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Buena Vista City Schools Superintendent faces assault charge

BUENA VISTA (WSLS 10) - Police are investigating a simple assault case involving Buena Vista City Public Schools Superintendent Dr. John Keeler.

According to Virginia state code, an assault is defined as an attempt or threat to inflict bodily injury upon another, accompanied by the apparent present ability to carry out the attempt or the threat if not prevented.

Court records show a complaint was filed by the school system's Transportation Manager John Butler. The complaint includes accusations of verbal abuse. School leaders confirmed two employees are now on paid administrative leave following Monday night's board meeting.

Buena Vista City School Administrators would not release names or details, but confirmed they are investigating a personnel matter.

Court records show that an incident occurred during a BVCPS Transportation Department meeting in August. In the complaint, Butler said Keeler verbally abused him. Keeler's lawyer said his client denies the accusation.

"I will say that my client absolutely denies any wrong doing, any physical altercation, said Will Hancock, Keeler's lawyer.

In a copy of a grievance letter John Butler filed, Butler said during the transportation meeting he asked Keeler about changes to a bus route that led to cost increases. According to Butler's statement, Dr. Keeler "exploded", "yelling and screaming and demanded they go to his office".

A court date is set for October 20 in Buena Vista.