Orange County School Board President Accused of Trafficking Child Porn | NBC Southern California

Orange County School Board President Accused of Trafficking Child Porn

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Orange County community was shocked to learn a school board president was arrested on suspicion of trafficking child porn. Vikki Vargas reports for the NBC4 News at 5 Thursday, April 20, 2017. 

    (Published Thursday, April 20, 2017)

    The Orange County community was reeling Thursday after the revelation that a school board president was arrested on suspicion of trafficking child pornography.

    "I'm in shock. That's horrible for someone who's been on board for seven years. That makes me a little nervous. My child goes to this school," said parent Cari Thomas.

    Buena Park School District Board President Dennis Brian Chambers was behind bars on suspicion of possession and distribution of child pornography.

    Those who know Chambers told NBC4 he is a leader who championed for upgrades at Buena Park schools and got them – the kind of man who even helped out at school carnivals.

    "Everybody liked him. He was the head of the baseball teams, the coach. This is just a shock," school board member Barbara Michel said.

    Michel sat on the board with Chambers for his entire seven years. She said he was a president who kept close tabs on budgets.

    Chambers was arrested Wednesday at his home by Fontana police, who are investigating the case.

    The probe stems from a tip from authorities in Flathead County, Montana, that the school board president was distributing the child pornography in Fontana, according to Fontana police Sgt. Kevin Goltara.

    The case originated in Montana, Goltara said.

    Chambers, 50, lives in Buena Park, but he has a job with a pest control company so that may have taken him out to Fontana, where the child pornography was being electronically distributed, Goltara said.

    It's possible the pornography was distributed through a public WiFi connection at a store in Fontana, he said.

    Chambers was being held on $250,000 bail, according to Orange County Jail records.

    It's unclear if prosecutors in Orange or San Bernardino counties will take the case, Goltara said.

    Jail records indicate Chambers was due in the Santa Ana jail courtroom on Friday.

    When Fontana police executed the search warrant at Chambers' residence they found an electronic storage device containing thousands of child pornographic videos and pictures, Goltara said.

    Buena Park School District Supt. Greg Magnuson said in a statement that Chambers' arrest was "certainly shocking and greatly disturbing for all of us in the Buena Park School District.''

    School officials will "fully support the police as they continue their investigation,'' Magnuson said.

    Chambers always had adult staff members with him when he came into contact with students on the district's campuses, Magnuson said.

    If Chambers get out on bail, he will be encouraged to "refrain from attending school functions or being on any of our school campuses,'' the superintendent said.

    Chambers cannot be kicked off the school board, but he could be censured by the rest of the board members, Magnuson said.

    "I don't know enough of the circumstances to weigh in with respect to guilt, but it's surprising and absolutely shocking," Magnuson told NBC4.

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