A Mountain View Whisman School District employee who was put on paid administrative leave in August following a hit and run arrest is back at work and no longer facing hate crime or resisting an officer charges, though prosecutors continue to pursue misdemeanor charges for battery, DUI and hit and run.
Shamir Simmons, 37, has been reassigned to work as a night custodian. He previously served as an at-risk supervisor for the elementary school district, providing intervention services for vulnerable students.
In an interview with the Voice, Simmons denied much of what police initially accused him of and said he was "disheartened" that the publicity around the case caused him to lose his job without ever being convicted.
"I just think that the punishment should fit the crime and I have yet to be (found) guilty of a crime," Simmons said. "Why do I have all these punishments coming and I'm still waiting for the gavel to drop?"
Simmons said that it had long been his dream to work with kids, so being reassigned hurts. He said he enjoyed serving the community and working with low-income and at-risk students and their families.
The case against him is ongoing following an Aug. 1 two-car collision. Mountain View police said at the time that Simmons got aggressive, assaulted the other driver and made racially charged comments against him and his wife, who are Hispanic. Police also said Simmons was driving under the influence and fled the scene.
Simmons was arrested on suspicion of battery, hit and run, DUI, a hate crime and threatening an officer. While being detained, police said Simmons threatened to kill an officer's wife and children.
Simmons denied both threatening an officer and physically attacking the couple. He also said he left the scene of the crash to get money from his nearby apartment to offer to the other driver, not to try to flee. In particular, he denied making any racially charged statements.
"I can tell you 100%, wholeheartedly that it did not happen," Simmons said.
Shortly after his arrest, the district placed Simmons on paid leave from his position at Theuerkauf Elementary School, saying in a statement that the district does not condone behavior that is "disruptive or harmful to any individual or group of people." At the time, district officials said that Simmons was on leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
When asked to comment for this story, Mountain View Whisman spokesperson Shelly Hausman declined to comment on Simmon's employment with the district.
When Simmons was arraigned on Sept. 30, he was charged with DUI, hit and run and two counts of battery, all misdemeanors. The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office dropped charges against Simmons for resisting an officer and for committing a hate crime, citing insufficient evidence for both.
On Oct. 20, the district transferred Simmons to a new position as a night custodian at Vargas Elementary School, according to a personnel report for a Nov. 4 school board meeting. The change is listed as permanent.