OAKLAND _ Police say the 17-year-old girl an Oakland school board member befriended this year denied that any ``sexual improprieties'' occurred, as a confidential informant had suggested.

But police say the case is still open _ even though they released a statement Tuesday morning that said board member Chris Dobbins wouldn't face criminal charges. That statement was released prematurely, police said.

``We would still like to talk to the people who made the allegations to the school district,'' Oakland Police Capt. Cy Vierra said. ``We want to be as thorough as possible.''

Troy Flint, a spokesman for the school district, said someone learned about the relationship between Dobbins and the teenager and became concerned. He would not say who the informant was _ only that it was not a district staff member. ``A person outside of the district felt we should be aware of the situation,'' he said.

The district then forwarded the case to the authorities.

Dobbins, 35, could not be reached for comment Tuesday. In an interview on Monday, he said he developed what he believed to be a mentoring relationship with the young woman, who served as a student trustee.

They went out to eat after a board meeting, he said, and he would sometimes take her to public functions because she couldn't drive.

In June, Dobbins began to distance himself after she expressed an infatuation for him, he said, adding that he told his girlfriend about the uncomfortable conversation.


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Her feelings caught him by surprise, he said, as did the investigation. ``I didn't realize how this would appear,'' Dobbins said. ``It was definitely innocent.''

Dobbins said he was under pressure from some of his board colleagues to resign _ a step he was not ready to take. He said he wished to finish the end of his term.

On Tuesday, after hearing initial reports that the police had found no evidence of a crime, board president David Kakishiba said it would be ``premature'' to say whether he should stay or go.

Before that, Kakishiba said, ``we want the district to conclude their investigation.''

Flint wouldn't speculate on how the district would proceed if police officially close their investigation. Reporter Harry Harris contributed to this story. E-mail Katy Murphy at kmurphy@oaklandtribune.com. Read her Oakland schools blog at www.ibabuzz.com/education. v