A former Newark school official arrested more than six months ago has pleaded not guilty to charges of child pornography possession, according to an official with the Solano County District Attorney's Office.
Steven Shields, who was once 's chief business official, was originally arrested on Nov. 3 at his Clayton home on suspicion of possessing child pornography.
He is scheduled for a "readiness conference" Wednesday to determine whether the case can move forward for a preliminary examination, said a district attorney's office employee who declined to give her name.
Upon his November arrest, Walnut Creek police said a of Shield’s personal computer and storage devices would be conducted.
Walnut Creek Police Sgt. Mike McLaughlin said Tuesday that the examination of those electronics has been completed but did not give further details.
He only said that the results of that investigation led police to file criminal charges against Shields. Those charges were received by the Solano County District Attorney's Office in February.
McLaughlin said the charges were filed in Solano County because that was the location of Shield's arrest. He added that the former school official was in possession of child pornography when he was arrested.
Vacaville Unified School District Superintendent John Niederkorn said at the time of the arrest that Shields "acknowledged that he had possession of this material in his personal laptop computer," according to a press release issued by the Vacaville Unified School District in November.
Shields' arrest in November occurred after authorities searched his home on the 100 block of Mt. Everest Court in Clayton and said they found he was in possession of child pornography.
He was originally booked into Martinez Detention Facility on $20,000 bail but was released within a week.
The Vacaville Reporter stated in a May 12 article that Shields, who was Vacaville Unified School District’s assistant superintendent at the time of his arrest, has been permanently replaced.
The Solano County daily newspaper also noted that Shields officially resigned from Vacaville Unified in March.
Shields worked in Newark Unified from 2008 to mid-2011. Newark Unified Superintendent Dave Marken has said Newark’s Board of Education decided last spring not to renew Shields' contract.
Marken also said the Newark Unified School District's Information Technology Department has examined all of the district's computer system as a precaution and that "everything on our end and [throughout] Newark Unified was clean." He added that Shields did not work directly with students.
Despite numerous publications reporting that Shields was arrested again on May 3 on similar charges, authorities said Shields has not been recently detained.
"There has been no new arrest," said Detective Sgt. Tom Cashion with the Walnut Creek Police Department.