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Michael Howey, 47, of Alameda, is accused of engaging in inappropriate conduct with nine of his female students.

UNION CITY -- An Alameda man who teaches third grade at a Union City elementary school was arrested Wednesday after at least nine female students reported that he had interacted inappropriately with them, police said.

Michael Howey, 47, was arrested on 17 counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14 and 23 counts of annoying and molesting a child, Cmdr. Ben Horner said. Police began investigating Howey, who teaches at Alvarado Elementary School, on April 12 after an adult witness submitted a report alleging Howey was acting inappropriately with one of his female students.

School officials put Howey on paid administrative leave immediately after the allegations were reported, police said.

During the investigation, police interviewed a number of students and their families and learned that the reported case was not an isolated incident and that eight other students had experienced similar treatment, Horner said. Howey was arrested without incident at his home in Alameda, then taken to Santa Rita Jail.

He remained in custody Thursday on $1.5 million bail. Police said Howey had no criminal history before his Wednesday arrest.

Howey has worked for the district for a total of 14 years, having taken a couple of years off since his 1997 hire date, New Haven Unified School District Chief Personnel Officer Derek McNamara said. Howey has taught at Alvarado Elementary, Cabello Elementary and Cesar Chavez Middle School from kindergarten level to middle school.


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According to McNamara, Howey had no disciplinary incidents on his record before the allegations stemming from the March investigation.

McNamara said the district is cooperating with the police investigation in any way it can.

"We just do everything we can to support the police," McNamara said. "We run a concurrent investigation, but we need to get all the information."

The district is providing psychologists, social workers and counselors for students and staff of Alvarado Elementary, McNamara said. The police investigation is ongoing.

Follow Erin Ivie at Twitter.com/erin_ivie.