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Accused teacher says he is innocent

Photo by Heather Middleton

Photo by Heather Middleton

By Kathy Jefcoats

kjefcoats@news-daily.com

A Clayton County substitute teacher said he is innocent of charges he urinated in a classroom trash can, in front of students.

Coleman Charles Eaton, Jr., 60, of Riverdale, is being held in the Clayton County Jail on $50,000 bond, on two counts of aggravated child molestation.

Defense attorney Leon Hicks, of Jonesboro, told Magistrate Court Judge Richard Brown, Thursday, during a first appearance hearing, that Eaton is able to make that bond.

After the hearing, Hicks said his client is innocent.

"He says he's innocent, he says he didn't do it," said Hicks.

Riverdale police said fourth-graders at Riverdale Elementary School complained to other teachers Wednesday morning that Eaton urinated in the classroom trash can.

One child reported seeing "his middle part," but a second student said she only saw him zipping his pants.

But Eaton told police he poured leftover breakfast juice into the trash can.

Clayton County Schools Spokesman Charles White said he can't provide any details on Eaton's employment.

"We are conducting an internal investigation, and cannot comment on an open investigation," he said.

Records show Eaton is a disbarred attorney.

Information from the Georgia Bar Association shows he had a rocky professional record.

He graduated from the Woodrow Wilson Law School and was admitted to the bar in 1984.

He was first reprimanded in 1995. Records show four interim suspensions, three of which were followed by reinstatement of his license.

The fourth was followed by disbarment in October 2009, for not acting with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing one client.

A second client terminated Eaton's representation after having issues during a divorce proceeding.

The investigative panel of the bar recommended the disbarment, noting Eaton's prior discipline, alleged dishonest motives, submission of false statements, and failure to acknowledge his wrongful conduct.