Phillips Academy Says Doctor Not Reappointed Due to Inappropriate Behavior
Dr. Richard Keller, who was charged with receiving child porn videos, was not reappointed as the private school's medical director due to inappropriate behavior, among other reasons.
Andover resident Dr. Richard Keller was charged in federal court last week for receiving child pornography. And his former employer, Phillips Academy Andover, sent a letter out to the Phillips community saying that it was inappropriate behavior, among other things, that prompted the school not to reappoint Keller to the position as medical director in 2011.
However, Phillips Academy Head of School John Palfrey said that the behavior was unrelated to the charges placed against him last week in federal court. And he said he does not believe Keller had engaged in any misconduct with students.
"We have no reason to believe that any of our students were involved in, or affected by, Dr. Keller’s alleged criminal behavior," said Palfrey.
Keller pleaded not guilty to charges of receiving child pornography in Boston's federal court last week. Keller, who was currently working as a pediatrician at Boston's Children's Hospital, allegedly received roughly 50 DVDs of child pornography by mail.
According to a court affidavit, Keller allegedly had some of the DVDs delivered to Phillips Academy.
In the letter to students, parents and faculty, Palfrey said that, in April 2011, Keller was informed that his annual contract would not be renewed. He resigned soon after.
Palfrey said that there were several incidents that lead to this decision by the school.
"In 1999, Dr. Keller was reprimanded for using an academy computer to access pornography involving adult subjects. In 2002, Dr. Keller was reprimanded for showing an inappropriate cartoon to students," Palfrey said in the letter. "In 2010, Dr. Keller sent an inappropriate voice-mail message to a colleague at the school."
Palfrey also stated that he had been cited for poor management and poor judgement. Keller had claimed he had been discriminated against. However, that claim was found to be groundless.
Three Phillips Academy students said that they were told Keller had resigned due to a desire to spend time with his family and newborn son.
A call to Phillips Academy director of communications Tracy Sweet was not immediately returned.
According to an article in the Boston Herald, the state Board of Registration in Medicine will be meeting as early as this week to decide whether to revoke Keller's medical license or ask him to suspend his practice.
Here is the complete letter from Palfrey to the students, parents and faculty:
As always, our highest priority is the safety of our students. We offer many layers of support to ensure their well being while in our care. We have no reason to believe that any of our students were involved in, or affected by, Dr. Keller’s alleged criminal behavior.
These are the facts surrounding Dr. Keller’s departure from Phillips Academy. Dr. Keller was employed for 19 years as the school’s physician on a year-to-year contract. In April, 2011, Phillips Academy informed Dr. Keller that his annual contract would not be renewed. Dr. Keller resigned his appointment and left the school that same month.
The reasons for the school’s decision not to renew his appointment involved professional misconduct unrelated to the charges Dr. Keller faces from the US Attorney’s office. The facts that led up to the school’s decision not to renew Dr. Keller’s contract were several; no single incident led to this decision. The salient facts include the following. In 1999, Dr. Keller was reprimanded for using an academy computer to access pornography involving adult subjects. In 2002, Dr. Keller was reprimanded for showing an inappropriate cartoon to students. Dr. Keller was also cited for poor management and poor judgment, which led the school to place him on administrative probation in 2009. In 2010, Dr. Keller sent an inappropriate voice-mail message to a colleague at the school. Dr. Keller subsequently claimed that the school had discriminated against him. The school investigated Dr. Keller’s claim and determined it to be groundless. Upon conclusion of that investigation, the school informed Dr. Keller that his contract would not be renewed for violating his administrative probation.
We will continue to assist the US Attorney’s office in all aspects of this investigation, while responding to the needs of our community in the days ahead. We encourage anyone with any information as it pertains to these charges to contact the US Attorney’s office.