The Seattle school district filed a complaint with the state superintendent’s Office of Professional Practice in June, alleging that Raymond Willis violated state law that requires school employees have “good moral character and/or personal fitness.”
The state superintendent’s office has opened an investigation into Raymond Willis, the Garfield High School counselor who has twice been fined by state regulators for financial fraud.
Seattle Public Schools filed a complaint with the state superintendent’s Office of Professional Practice in June, alleging that Willis violated state law that requires school employees to have “good moral character and/or personal fitness.”
Spokesman Nate Olson confirmed the state superintendent’s office has an “open and active” investigation. He didn’t know the timeline of the investigation, but said it could last as long as a year, depending on the complexity.
Willis, 63, has been a guidance counselor at Garfield since 2007, two years after he was fired from his coaching job at Chief Sealth High following a recruiting scandal.
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As of last fall, the state Department of Financial Institution has fined Willis and his nutritional-supplement company, the MiniHYA Corp., $37,000 in penalties and associated legal costs for fraudulently selling securities. He was also fined $4,000 after investors sued him, alleging fraud, in 2013. State regulators said Willis solicited more than $250,000 from 40 investors to fund two companies — a skin-care firm called AuJeune, and a health care company called Ra Ghala.
In a Seattle Times story in May, which detailed Willis’ history with the district, Seattle Public Schools said in a statement that the district was looking into the situation and “will follow state law.” At the time, Olson said that violating state finance laws wouldn’t necessarily bar someone from a job as a guidance counselor.