Arbitrator finds it unlikely that Fairfield teacher exposed self to girl

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FAIRFIELD -

An independent arbitrator says it's unlikely that a Fairfield teacher exposed himself to a teenage student and recommends that he keep his job.

Jeff Iwanicki, a teacher at Fairfield Warde High School, faces several felony charges. He's been on paid leave for almost a year after a 15-year-old student accused him of exposing himself to her twice in the classroom, but the arbitrator's report says the accuser admitted she wasn't sure what she had actually seen. 

In one case, several other students were said to be nearby, but two of those students testified that they didn't see the alleged incident happen. Furthermore, the arbitrator says Fairfield police made no attempt to locate another key witness.

"The police investigation was insufficient, lacking in any effort to even ascertain all the witnesses, nor interview them," the report reads.

"This was a situation where the allegation was so strong that...many in the administration and also at the police department bought the story hook, line and sinker," says Ed Gavin, Iwanicki's lawyer.

According to the arbitrator, the accuser "admitted that she doubted herself, that she thought she was crazy, that she never saw Mr. Iwanicki unzip his pants or remove his penis."

It's up to the board of education whether to lift Iwanicki's suspension, and he's still facing the criminal charges. The board is not bound by the arbitrator's recommendation.

The superintendent did not immediately respond to a News 12 Connecticut request for comment.

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