By Sharna Johnson: Freedom New Mexico
Clovis Christian School’s superintendent was placed on administrative leave Friday, part of an ongoing investigation of his roommate’s arrest on a federal warrant alleging child rape.
Investigators seized Steven Schultze’s computer from his office at the school Thursday, looking for evidence to determine if he knowingly harbored a fugitive at his home, records show.
Schultze has not been charged in connection with the case.
School board President Ben Wright said the school placed Schultze on leave Friday, pending the outcome of the investigation.
“Clovis Christian School is a first-class place, and we’re going to keep it that way,” he said.
School officials are cooperating with law enforcement in any way they can, Wright said, explaining Schultze made him aware of the investigation Thursday.
“Our paramount concern for the school is the safety of our children. … We would rather err on the side of safety and let this all sort out.”
Numerous attempts to reach Schultze for comment Friday were unsuccessful.
Clovis Christian School released a statement that said Schultze is out of town for the holiday weekend, will not be present on the school premises and has been placed on leave, “as a precaution and reassurance to parents.”
Wednesday, deputies from the Curry County Sheriff’s Office, acting on information from the U.S. Marshal’s Service, arrested Schultze’s roommate, Jerry Klinker, 40, at 598 Curry Road L.
Klinker is wanted in Missouri on charges of raping a child and receiving stolen property. He is being held at the Curry County Adult Detention Center in lieu of a $300,000 cash-only bond.
Klinker’s two young children, also living in the home with he and Schultze, were taken into custody by Children Youth and Family officials.
According to the warrant, Schultze was allowing Klinker to live in his home and knew Klinker was being investigated for child molestation.
Schultze told investigators he had no knowledge there were active warrants for Klinker’s arrest, court records show.
Schultze told investigators he learned of the investigation because he had been corresponding with the mother of Klinker’s alleged victim by e-mail. He said he never discussed the matter with Klinker, records show.
Schultze showed investigators some of the e-mails with the alleged victim’s mother, including one in which he told her, “he is sad for Klinker’s childhood pain,” the search warrant said.
Undersheriff Wesley Waller said Friday he was unable to comment on the case, citing a pending investigation.
Wright said he knew Schultze had someone staying with him, but did not know Klinker. He said Klinker, who has one child attending Clovis Christian, was not involved in the school in any way, “other than his involvement as a parent.”
Serving about 250 students, Clovis Christian School was opened in 1994 and recently expanded to add a second campus for elementary students.
Schultze was hired last fall to replace Steve Medeiros, who moved to Arizona to enter into ministry.
Wright said the school has been pleased with Schultze’s performance and has had no cause for concern.
Wright said the school has no idea of the timeline for the investigation.
Brandon and Annie Reid are parents of two children attending Clovis Christian School’s elementary campus on Humphrey Road.
Annie Reid said they had just learned of the investigation Friday afternoon and were still processing the information.
But she said they stand firm in their support of the school.
“I’m surprised, but as far as safety or anything like the safety of my kids, I’m not concerned,” she said.