Union City police have arrested an elementary school teacher in connection with inappropriately touching third grade girls.
Cmdr. Ben Horner said Michael William Howey, 47, a teacher at Alvarado Elementary School was arrested Wednesday at his home in Alameda on 17 charges of lewd and lascivious acts and 23 charges of child molestation. He is being held on $1.5 million bail.
Horner did not specify how many girls were involved, but said it was "multiple."
Police were tipped off April 12 about just one girl, and Howey - a 15-year teaching veteran - was immediately placed on administrative leave. Horner said another teacher walked in on Howey and a student.
Horner said during the investigation, numerous students were interviewed, and additional allegations of misconduct arose.
Howey has no prior criminal history.
Police said administrators from the New Haven Unified School District have been working with police in an effort to ensure the safety of all students in the school district. The district sent a short statement saying that the teacher has "not been in contact" with any students since the police investigation, and by law, can't say anything more.
According to past district news releases, under Howey's leadership, the school community raised $400 for the Red Cross in 2011 during for Japan after the tsunami.
In 2008, he served as a district "energy manager" when he was a teacher at Cesar Chavez Middle School.
He was charged with helping the district reduce costs through energy-saving methods, Supt. Pat Jaurequi said in the statement, to "redirect more dollars into teaching."