A former Massachusetts teacher won a seat on his school committee this week, months after photos of him attending the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol led to his resignation.
Matthew Lynch, a Braintree High School teacher who had been with his school district for about 10 years, resigned in February after photos of him attending the violent rally circulated on social media, local news outlet Patch.com reported.
In emails to Patch, Lynch said he had been visited twice by the FBI after participating in the riot, in which a mob of supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol.
It was unclear whether Lynch went inside the Capitol and was charged in connection with the riot or remained outside and was just questioned. The FBI did not respond to an inquiry from NBC News on Friday regarding his role.
Regardless, the controversy did not appear to hurt Lynch’s campaign for the school committee race. Of the three winners in Tuesday’s election, he came in second, earning 2,319 votes, Patch reported.
But immediately following his win, Lynch was the subject of a firestorm.
A day after being elected, Braintree Public Schools released 27 complaints filed against him by parents, teachers and students. While most centered around his trip to Washington, others alleged he made transphobic social media posts, according to Patch. One complaint said he threatened a parent who was among the first to raise concerns about his trip.
Lynch did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In a Facebook post a day after his victory, he wrote that he “had some good laughs yesterday as we made national news.”
“The left hates free speech so anyone speaking out against their agenda they will try and villainize, oh well! These people don’t care about Braintree kids, all they care about is power and control. Let them stay in their echo chambers hating life because we have A LOT of work to do!!” he wrote.
Thomas Devin, the chairperson of Braintree’s school committee, did not respond to a request for comment from NBC News, but confirmed to Insider that Lynch had been at the Capitol on Jan. 6.
“If he had committed a crime, he would have been arrested,” Devin told the publication.
“I don’t care about people’s politics,” he added. “I’m here to do what’s best for the people of Braintree.”
Elizabeth Chuck is a reporter for NBC News who focuses on health and mental health, particularly issues that affect women and children.