Greene County teacher fired after pleading guilty to OWI charge on school grounds
By BRANDON HURLEY
The Greene County school board teriminated Peyton Paddock’s teaching contract Wednesday morning following his guilty plea for operating while intoxicated on his way to school in March.
Paddock, 24, Jefferson, who was employed with the Greene County School District since 2019, was arrested and charged with public intoxication and operating while intoxicated after arriving at the Greene County High School on March 31.
Paddock pled guilty to the OWI charge on May 4, according to court documents, and must serve 180 days in jail. The state agreed to drop the public intoxication charge in exchange for his guilty plea. Additionally, all but two of the 180 day sentence were suspended, court documents say.
GCHS principal Brian Phillips was concerned with Peyton Paddock’s “abnormal” behavior and believed he was intoxicated around 11:30 a.m. on March 31, criminal reports said.
When officers arrived and approached Paddock, he admitted to having consumed Black Velvet whiskey the night prior, between 9 and 11 p.m. Officers then administered a breathalyzer test, which registered his blood alcohol level content at 0.255, more than three times the legal limit of 0.08. Paddock told officers he had not consumed any alcohol while on school grounds, but admitted that he had driven his own vehicle to work.
Paddock initially plead not guilty on April 19 to charges of public intoxication and OWI, though the courts eventually agreed to drop the public intoxication charge if Paddock pled guilty to OWI, which he did so on May 4.
Paddock accepted a sentence of 180 days in jail for his OWI. The former girls’ varsity soccer coach was hired to coach the Rams in prior to the 2020 season, though COVID-19 came through and cancelled his first campaign. Paddock didn’t coach his first game until 2021, his only spring on the sideline, leading the Rams to a winless, 0-17 record. Greene County was Paddock’s first head coaching job out of college. The former Monticello High School soccer star, who was twice an all-state kicker, played football at Iowa State University, handling full-time kick-off duties during the 2019 season. Paddock holds the all-time single season and career goals record at Monticello.
The March alcohol charges were not Paddock’s first run-in with the law since being employed by GCSD.
He was arrested and initially charged with allegedly assaulting a Greene County student back in the fall of 2020. Several unnamed students were outside of Paddock’s residence around 10 p.m. Sept. 17 participating in the high school tradition of dispersing toilet paper on a property, court documents show. Paddock was not pleased by the late night visit, and according to records, left his home through the front door and pursued one of the students on foot. When the student reached their car and entered, a criminal complaint says Paddock reached for the handle and pushed the door into the student’s leg, pinning it between the car frame and door. He also allegedly harassed the student and a parent via text messages after the dispute, court documents say.
A deferred judgement eventually reduced the initial charge of assault to disorderly conduct, which Paddock pled guilty to in Jan. 22, 2021. Other witness accounts from fellow students on the night of the incident said they could not tell if the victim was being harmed by Paddock. Paddock was placed on one year probation. During that same time frame, the Greene County staff member began a brief tenure as the Greene County girls’ varsity head soccer coach in the spring of 2020.
Paddock also agreed to as a fine of $1,250 for his OWI conviction, which was reduced to $625 because he had obtained a restricted license. Additionally, Paddock will be placed on one year probation and was required to go through a substance abuse evaluation (which was completed on April 7). Paddock’s agreement to the guilty terms convinced the State to dismiss the public intoxication charge. He must begin serving the jail sentence within seven days of the guilty order, which was accepted on May 5.