When Dr. Richard Keller, the Boston Children’s Hospital pediatrician who had served 19 years as the medical director at Phillips Academy in Andover, was arrested Thursday on charges of receiving child pornography, school officials said the private boarding high school had refused to renew Keller’s contract last year. They would not say why.

In an e-mail to parents, students, faculty, staff, and alumni Friday evening, Head of School John Palfrey provided more details and disclosed that Keller had been reprimanded in 1999 for using a school computer to view adult pornography. Palfrey wrote:

As always, our highest priority is the safety of our students. We offer many layers of support to ensure their well being while in our care. We have no reason to believe that any of our students were involved in, or affected by, Dr. Keller’s alleged criminal behavior.

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These are the facts surrounding Dr. Keller’s departure from Phillips Academy. Dr. Keller was employed for 19 years as the school’s physician on a year-to-year contract. In April, 2011, Phillips Academy informed Dr. Keller that his annual contract would not be renewed. Dr. Keller resigned his appointment and left the school that same month.

The reasons for the school’s decision not to renew his appointment involved professional misconduct unrelated to the charges Dr. Keller faces from the US Attorney’s office. The facts that led up to the school’s decision not to renew Dr. Keller’s contract were several; no single incident led to this decision. The salient facts include the following. In 1999, Dr. Keller was reprimanded for using an academy computer to access pornography involving adult subjects. In 2002, Dr. Keller was reprimanded for showing an inappropriate cartoon to students. Dr. Keller was also cited for poor management and poor judgment, which led the school to place him on administrative probation in 2009. In 2010, Dr. Keller sent an inappropriate voice-mail message to a colleague at the school. Dr. Keller subsequently claimed that the school had discriminated against him. The school investigated Dr. Keller’s claim and determined it to be groundless. Upon conclusion of that investigation, the school informed Dr. Keller that his contract would not be renewed for violating his administrative probation.

We will continue to assist the US Attorney’s office in all aspects of this investigation, while responding to the needs of our community in the days ahead. We encourage anyone with any information as it pertains to these charges to contact the US Attorney’s office.

Keller has been placed on leave from his roles at Children’s Hospital and as part-instructor at Harvard Medical School, a role he has had since 1992.