Wife of Capitol rioter appointed to NEISD committee, sparking controversy

School Health Advisory Council member Crystal Keen has been a frequent critic of the district, internal emails show

SAN ANTONIO – Last month, North East Independent School District’s School Health Advisory Council held its first meeting since fall classes began.

The council, which provides the large San Antonio school district guidance on topics ranging from the mental health of students to nutrition and human sexuality (sexual education) instruction, is made up of members appointed by the district’s board of trustees.

Among the new members who introduced themselves during the meeting was Crystal Keen, a registered nurse who has also worked as a real estate agent, public records show.

Public records also show Keen is married to Matthew Mazzocco, one of the first defendants sentenced for his role in the January 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection.

NEISD community members in recent weeks expressed concerns about Keen being appointed to the council, commonly referred to as SHAC.

The couple’s Stone Oak home was raided by FBI agents in January 2021, less than two weeks after Mazzocco posted and then deleted from social media a selfie of him outside the U.S. Capitol with the caption “The capital (sic) is ours!”

Prosecutors dismissed additional charges against Matthew Mazzocco after he pleaded guilty to parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building in 2021. (KSAT)

Additional social media posts showed Mazzocco was among the more than 2,000 rioters who entered the Capitol, many of whom vandalized the federal building.

Mazzocco was seen and heard on a video posted to social media telling others not to take or destroy anything, and that they were probably going to get in trouble for what they were doing, U.S. Department of Justice charging paperwork shows.

Federal authorities did not accuse Mazzocco of vandalism.

Within days of the riot, Mazzocco was identified to federal authorities by social media users and by parents in a youth sports league they and Mazzocco belonged to.

Mazzocco was charged that month with two federal misdemeanors: knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority as well as violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

In the summer of 2021, Mazzocco agreed to plead guilty to parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building, in exchange for federal prosecutors dropping the additional counts against him, a copy of his plea agreement shows.

Despite prosecutors recommending Mazzocco be sentenced to home confinement, the federal judge overseeing his case instead sentenced him to 45 days in jail.

Mazzocco, who was among the first dozen rioters sentenced in connection with the insurrection, became the first Capitol rioter sent to jail after prosecutors had recommended no jail time.

Judge Tanya S. Chutkan criticized Mazzocco for bragging about what he had done after returning to Texas from Washington, D.C. and blaming the violence at the Capitol on Antifa, a left-wing political movement, the Washington Post previously reported.

Mazzocco was released from federal custody in mid-February of last year, Federal Bureau of Prisons records show.

Mazzocco resumed a social media presence after his release from jail and many of his posts on Facebook are public.

He has repeatedly posted photos of President Joe Biden, comparing him to Adolph Hitler.

Mazzocco in September of last year captioned a photo of Biden giving a speech “Mein Brandon!”

Later that month Mazzocco posted a similar photo of Biden with stock symbols in the background and included the caption “Lady’s (sic) and gentlemen... Adolph Sniffler did that...”

Mazzocco has also reposted racially insensitive content, including a video of a man reciting a Panjabi MC song while recording video of a store clerk who appears to be of Indian descent.

Mazzocco has repeatedly criticized school boards on his Facebook page. (KSAT)

But it’s Mazzocco’s posts on school boards, and allegations that they permit the grooming of children, that have drawn the most concern from NEISD community members who spoke with KSAT on the condition of anonymity.

While posting a video last October from an out-of-state school board meeting, Mazzocco wrote “There are a lot of child molesters out there. A lot of them wear suits and ties.”

The video included school board members being criticized by people in the audience for how they responded to allegations that a student was masturbating in a classroom.

A day later Mazzocco posted a video of a woman berating a North Carolina school board after a widely banned book on sexuality and gender, “This Book is Gay,” was found in a 7th grade classroom.

Mazzocco wrote “These pedophiles are EVERYWHERE and they want to have sex with YOUR KIDS!!!!! LITERALLY.”

Mazzocco also wrote in the post that he had 2,000 hours of research and archived data to support his statement.

“Groomers be on notice. You are not a majority whatsoever. You are small in numbers. You have the media on your side but we talk amongst ourselves and we see you. Your time is ending,” wrote Mazzocco.

KSAT attempted to speak with Mazzocco and Keen at their Stone Oak home last month.

A woman inside the home was heard saying, “It’s the news,” but no one came to the door.

Days later KSAT approached Keen for comment prior to the start of the public SHAC meeting.

Keen questioned whether KSAT had gone to anybody else’s front door before she said, “So, my husband served his time that was given to him by the judge. I’m a separate person from my husband, so if you want to interview Matt you can definitely do that.”

Keen then requested that KSAT email her to set up a time to speak.

Keen has not responded to multiple subsequent emails from KSAT requesting a sit-down interview for this story.

Mazzocco, through his criminal defense attorney, declined an interview request and asked that KSAT stop trying to contact him.

NEISD District 7 Trustee Marsha Landry, who appointed Keen to SHAC, did not respond to multiple emails seeking comment for this story.

Keen’s term on the committee runs until 2025, NEISD records show.

“Who are not influenced by their spouses?”

Patrick Von Dohlen, founder of the San Antonio Family Association and a longtime critic of NEISD’s sexual education instruction, applauded the inclusion of Keen on SHAC.

“Crystal is a friend and I’ve known her for several years and I would say that’s a private matter for them that they need to discuss,” said Von Dohlen, when asked about Mazzocco’s criminal history.

“Crystal is a licensed nurse, registered nurse and very qualified,” added Von Dohlen, referring to Keen being on the committee, pointing out that she was appointed under the SHAC category of Licensed/Certified Healthcare Professional.

San Antonio Family Association founder Patrick Von Dohlen records video of a recent NEISD School Health Advisory Council meeting. (KSAT)

Kellie Gretschel, a member of the San Antonio Family Association who monitors SHAC, pointed out to KSAT that the committee is not a voting entity and can only make recommendations on policy to the school board.

“It can only work within certain parameters. It can’t affect vaccine mandates from the state, such like that, but it can affect curricula that’s been chosen,” said Gretschel.

Von Dohlen conceded that it is not out of the question to consider whether Keen’s relationship with Mazzocco could impact her work on the committee.

“Who are not influenced by their spouses? I’m influenced by my wife and hopefully and usually she would certainly say for the better,” said Von Dohlen.

Von Dohlen said he had not seen Mazzocco’s social media posts but that he’s “certainly entitled to his own opinion, as we all are.”

Keen a frequent critic of NEISD

Following a public records request, NEISD provided KSAT 156 pages of correspondence between Keen and district staff since May 2022.

The records include Keen repeatedly requesting email records and other forms of digital communication from board trustees, most notably NEISD Board President Shannon Grona.

Other requests included Keen asking for behavioral plans and drug abuse/awareness instruction at certain NEISD campuses.

Last October, in an email sent to the board, Keen accused the district of not following the SHAC bylaws.

Keen has been a frequent critic of NEISD, district records show. (KSAT)

In an email to NEISD Superintendent Dr. Sean Maika in February on students being exposed to possibly inappropriate reading materials, Keen incorrectly questioned whether an employee of the Chicago-based American Library Association was a district employee with a similar name.

Dr. Maika informed Keen they are not the same person.

About the Authors:

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined KSAT Investigates in September 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat and on the Six O'Clock News. Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.

Joshua Saunders is an Emmy award-winning photographer/editor who has worked in the San Antonio market for the past 20 years. Joshua works in the Defenders unit, covering crime and corruption throughout the city.