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School Principal Commits Suicide Amid Investigation

        Press Release:       
        Sheriff Margaret Mims announced today the investigation of inappropriate activity with students by a local elementary school principal.
         On Friday May 30th, The Sheriff’s Office received a report of suspicious activity which occurred at Orange Center School, located in the 3500 block of S. Cherry in Fresno County.
         A school employee reported that he witnessed the principal, 42-year-old Lance Clement, along with a young female student, in the principal’s office with the lights off on the evening of May 29th.
        Patrol deputies responded to the school Friday afternoon and began an investigation.
        Preliminary information revealed inappropriate behavior that at that time did not rise to the level of a crime.
        Sex Crimes Detectives received the case on Tuesday June 3rd and began a comprehensive investigation. School officials were also advised of the investigation and Mr. Clement voluntarily turned his keys in and agreed to stay away from the school.
        By Thursday, June 5th, detectives had completed over 20 interviews and discovered additional victims of activity that included gifts, unsuitable dialogue between adults and juveniles, and an abnormal amount of female students being called to the principal’s office. The allegations were sexual in nature.
        Also on Thursday the President of the School Board gave the Sheriff’s Office consent to collect the computer from Mr. Clement’s office. Detectives discovered that the hard drive had been removed from the computer. As a result the Sheriff’s Office obtained a search warrant for Mr. Clement’s house.
        This morning Sheriff’s Detectives arrived to Mr. Clement’s house located in the 7000 block of 14th Ave. in Kings County. Upon announcement of a search warrant service, Mr. Clement took his own life with a handgun.
        Kings County Sheriff’s Office arrived to assist and is handling the suicide investigation. Fresno Sheriff’s Detectives are still conducting a search of computer equipment and other evidence. There is still an ongoing investigation. If anyone has further information, please contact Sgt. Jeff Kertson at 600-8144.

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