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Arrest of Sayville Custodian for Child Porn Shocks District, Colleagues

Lincoln Avenue Elementary night custodian Shawn Mead is described as hard-working.

The Tuesday of a Sayville elementary custodian on a child pornography charge came as a big shock and surprise to both district administrators and colleagues who describe Shawn Mead as a hard-working employee.

“All I can think of is he got himself involved in something he didn’t realize what it was,” said one district worker who requested anonymity.

“He’s a very good worker. This will put a big dent in his life and career,” the colleague told Patch.

The 44-year-old Patchogue resident, who has worked as a Sayville custodian for 12 years, most recently as a night custodian at , turned himself into police at 12:30 a.m. Tuesday. He is charged with one count of possessing a sexual performance by a child, according to police. The Class E felony carries a maximum jail sentence of four years.

The arrest, according to police, came after the unit conducted an undercover investigation into individuals trading child pornography online. Mead is scheduled to be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip Tuesday.

Mead has been suspended with pay, according to John Belmonte, Sayville assistant superintendent for business, who said Suffolk Police did not contact the district about the arrest until mid-morning Tuesday. According to FindtheData.com website, Mead earned a salary of $66,915 as of 2011. 

“A this point we know little, except child porn was found on his home computer according to the police, and there doesn’t seem to be any involvement with any Lincoln Avenue school children," Belmonte told Patch. "It was all Internet downloads from what we have been told.

The district is conducting its own investigation, he added.

“The first thing we did was scan all our district computers and there is no indication that anything took place on school property,” Belmonte said, describing Mead as an “exemplary employee and very hard worker,” and adding the safety of the students is paramount to the district.

Mead's father, Michael, served as a custodian in the district for 27 years, the last 23 as head district building and grounds chief, and .

“This is an allegation that we are taking very seriously. Mead was a night custodian and was not exposed to students during his work hours,” Belmonte said. 

One colleague was clearly stunned by the news of Mead’s arrest and told Patch Mead was a hard worker and someone who may not have realized what he had gotten involved in.

“He seems a little naïve,” said the colleague.

CuriousGeorgeNow August 22, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Sorry "my opinion". I know someone very close to me that is a custodian and has a college degree. You can also go into the school he works in and eat off the floors, and I wouldn't want anything less where my kids go to school. What does a college degree have to do with how they do their jobs. I am a successful business person and I do NOT have a college degree. So stop judging others. This guy has NOT be proven guily yet.
josie August 22, 2012 at 04:32 PM
Well said!!
my opinion sayville August 24, 2012 at 04:20 PM
Patricia, josie and curious george: The custodians job can be "held" without him being "paid" while determining his guilt. As for electrical, plumbing and HVAC repairs those are usually sub contracted out to be repaired. Mowing and week wacking in 95 degree weather is rare...lets stick to the facts. If the guy didn't have kiddie porn on his computer he WOULDN"T HAVE BEEN ARRESTED! Suspend w/out pay.
josie August 24, 2012 at 09:06 PM
my opinion, when you get your facts straight we will talk. All you are spewing is "your opinion" I know the workings of the district because my husband worked for them for 26 years and was the shop steward! Maybe you can help me out with this one, if we sub contract out why do we have a plumber, electrician, carpenter etc hired for our district? Facts!!! I also guess you know the workings of the union, I think not. Again the district is handling the matter legally. For the record I am not condoning what he did, I am defending the district from ignorant remarks from prople who don't know what they are talking about!
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