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Former Dixon athletic director resigns state job

Gaffey faces misdemeanor charges; claims custody issues

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013 12:47 p.m. CDT
Kye Gaffey and Jennifer Gaffey.
Kye Gaffey
Jennifer Gaffey

A former Dixon school administrator resigned from his state post last week after his arrest in St. Charles.

Kye Gaffey, 41, and his wife, Jennifer, 42, of Sterling, face misdemeanor charges of trespass and criminal damage. He is a former assistant principal and athletic director at Dixon High School.

About 10 p.m. Aug. 15, a woman who was watching a neighbor’s house went inside and saw a man standing in the kitchen, she told police. She tried speaking with him, but he left, according to the St. Charles Police Department. She called police, who found the Gaffeys shortly after, police said.

They were taken into custody and later released after each posted $150 of their $1,500 bail.

Gaffey made $110,244 a year as the superintendent of the Illinois Juvenile Prison Schools. He told the Kane County Chronicle that he resigned to avoid further embarrassment to the department.

According to police, Jennifer Gaffey shares custody of a 6-year-old boy with a man who lives with another woman in the house where the neighbor saw the Gaffeys.

Asked about the Gaffeys’ motive, spokesman Paul McCurtain said the couple said they went into the house to determine whether the living conditions were acceptable for the boy. The occupants were on vacation.

Kye Gaffey, a Sterling native, told the Chronicle that the boy had reported there was no furniture in the house, that he was sleeping on a mattress on the floor behind a curtain, and that there was cat feces all over.

“We never went inside,” Gaffey said. “We were looking in the window. That is why we were there. ... Custody is an ongoing battle. It’s something we are trying to take care of in the courts. It’s not a good situation.”

The boy’s father, Peter Smith, said Gaffey’s description of the house was not true and was inspired by the custody battle.

In 2009, Gaffey was named athletic director at Dixon High School, where he had been assistant principal for 4 years.

He was athletic director for a year before becoming principal at Auburn High School in Rockford, which is more than twice the size of Dixon High. Near the end of his first year, the school board voted to dismiss him, but wouldn’t say why. He was the fourth principal to serve within 2 school years.

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