(Medina)– More upheaval in the Medina City Schools.
The Medina City Schools Board of Education has placed Superintendent Dr. Randy Stepp on paid administrative leave effective immediately pending further investigation into a district fund kept at the Medina County Schools’ Educational Services Center.
According to a statement from the Medina City Schools Board of Education, Dr. Stepp has been instructed to not be on district property or report to the District Office unless granted permission by the Board, except for transporting his children to and from school.
Dr. Stepp has been further instructed to not use any school controlled means of communication, attend any school functions, or communicate in any manner whatsoever with employees of the District while on administrative leave, unless he has prior permission from the Board or is specifically instructed to do so by the board. He will continue to receive his regular wages during this time.
The Board has also instructed Dr. Stepp to turn over school issued keys, swipe card, school credit cards, as well as any other District-owned property in his possession. Dr. Stepp has also been told to refrain from any District-paid professional development or Board-paid travel during this leave.
This administrative leave is being taken as part of a standard investigatory procedure and is not a disciplinary action or adverse employment action or finding of wrongdoing on his part.
The Board of Education will be discussing who will serve as the interim superintendent at their April 9, 2013 work session.
On Friday, the board announced they asked state Auditor Dave Yost to look into a “carryover fund” of district money kept at the ESC. The Medina Gazette reports:
Stepp directed spending out of the fund and spending did not require oversight from the district’s treasurer or school board.
In the past three years, Stepp has directed the treasurer of the Educational Service Center to issue checks totaling nearly $172,000 to pay off his federal college loans and almost $94,000 for an executive master’s of business administration from Case Western Reserve University.
Stepp has also directed his own reimbursements for travel expenses.
On Monday afternoon, Dr. Stepp released a letter to the community. It reads, in part:
Given the decision made today by the Medina City School District Board of Education to place me on paid administrative leave, I feel the time has come to set the record straight and address the growing number of inaccuracies surrounding my contract and its provisions, which have always been unanimously approved by the board.
I have not communicated with the community at large during these difficult times because I chose to take the high road. However, as a result of today's action by the board I cannot sit back and let things continue as they have. Many parents and others have encouraged me to provide additional context regarding my contract and the board’s unanimous approval of its provisions over the years. I have given my heart and soul to this community and this district for the past 11years. I have served your children and I have served Medina with all my heart. To have things unfold as they have and without fair representation of the facts is very disheartening. In the interest of clarity and full understanding, I cannot stand by and let things continue unchecked.
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(Copyright © 2013 by Clear Channel, all rights reserved. Photo courtesy Medina City Schools.)