breaking news

Navistar CEO tells investors truck maker’s rebound is complete

Logan County judge dismisses lawsuit filed by ex-superintendent

A Logan County judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by an ex-superintendent who’s in prison for a child sex crime.

Patrick O’Donnell is serving 50 months in jail. He sued Indian Lake Schools arguing the Indian Lake Board of Education improperly fired him before he was convicted of the crime.

MORE: Logan Co. superintendent resigns, to get $35K after charges dropped

However, Logan County Common Pleas Judge William Goslee ruled last week that Indian Local Schools was justified when it terminated O’Donnell after he was accused and charged with touching a young teenage girl.

O’Donnell’s attorney, Dennis Pregram, didn’t respond to messages seeking comment. The girl O’Donnell assaulted was not a student at the school and was known to him.

O’Donnell entered an Alford plea in the criminal case — meaning he didn’t admit guilt but agreed to the punishment — and was convicted and sentenced to about five years in prison in March.

The district argued in court filings O’Donnell being charged with the crime was enough cause to fire him and also said that even if he was found not guilty, too much damage to his reputation had been done and he wouldn’t have been able to lead the school any longer.

Goslee found that the board of education was within their rights when they fired O’Donnell.

“The testimony of several principals, assistant principals and teachers reflect the consensus that O’Donnell had lost the confidence of those that he supervised,” Goslee wrote in his findings. “These are his peers and those who look to him within the district for leadership and who recognize the need for community support.”

Goslee also found that the Indian Lake community had lost confidence in the ex-superintendent.

“He simply could not steer the ship as a captain,” Goslee wrote. “He was not effective and for this there was no cure. The damage was ongoing to the district.”

READ: Ex-superintendent convicted in child sex case still suing school district

Pregram in early court filings argued that it didn’t matter that O’Donnell was convicted of the crime for the purposes of the lawsuit. But Goslee disagreed.

“This cannot be ignored as though it did not happen,” Goslee wrote. “It did. It is not, however, dispositive of the decision. The damage to the district would have been irreversible had the board waited to address this administratively while it waited for the criminal case to the point of conviction before acting. The board indicated that the charges of criminal conduct were such that the public outcry and division in the community were so great that the damage to the school system and public confidence demanded his retirement or dismissal.”

The district released a statement through a spokeswoman saying that it was happy with Goslee’s decision.

“The Indian Lake School Board is pleased with the court’s decision to affirm our action in the dismissal of Pat O’Donnell,” the statement said. “We believe that the judgment entry recently filed by Logan County Common Pleas Court Judge William Goslee validates our careful decision in this matter.

“Our focus throughout this process has always been, and will continue to be, on student achievement, safety and well-being.”

Reader Comments

Next Up in Crime

'Bear, go away:' Video doorbell shows bear on Florida doorstep
'Bear, go away:' Video doorbell shows bear on Florida doorstep

A bear was seen on camera knocking over Christmas decorations on a family’s doorstep. WTSP reported that a video doorbell captured the bear’s visit in Naples, Florida. The video was shared to the Ring Neighbors App by the homeowner. Video began recording automatically when the bear stepped onto the property, according to WFOR. >...
Children’s Place recalls infant girls snowsuits
Children’s Place recalls infant girls snowsuits

The Children’s Place and the Consumer Product Safety Commission have announced a recall of infant snowsuits due to a choking hazard. According to the recall alert, the metal snaps on the snowsuit can come off and can pose a choking hazard to young children.  About 14,900 snowsuits are covered by the recall in the United States. Another...
2 women arrested on prostitution-related charges at Miami Twp. massage parlor
2 women arrested on prostitution-related charges at Miami Twp. massage parlor

Two women were arrested on prostitution-related charges at a Miami Twp. massage parlor, according to jail records.  Deputies arrested Jinhuang Ging Liu, 45, and Li Wang Corona, 43, at Healthy Massage, at 2179 Miamisburg Centerville Road, online records show.  It was not immediately known if the charges Liu and Corona were arrested for were...
These 16 people were indicted in Clark County, Ohio
These 16 people were indicted in Clark County, Ohio

These cases were indicted in Clark County Common Pleas Court in December. Haley Thomas, 23, of Springfield: aggravated possession of drugs Cassandra Robidoux, 31: two counts of receiving stolen property and forgery Jaylin Cameron, 20: carrying concealed weapon and improper handling of firearms Christopher Fenner, 45: domestic violence and abduction...
President Trump signs order giving federal employees Christmas Eve off
President Trump signs order giving federal employees Christmas Eve off

Despite a looming potential government shutdown, President Donald Trump has signed an order giving all federal employees Christmas Eve off.  Trump issued the order Tuesday that stated “all executive departments and agencies of the federal government shall be closed” on Monday. The order continued the trend of giving federal employees...
More Stories