Details about why a local superintendent who makes more than $125,000 a year was placed on paid administrative leave have still not been revealed.
Jesse Steiner, who has worked in the Northwestern Local Schools district for a little more than two years, was placed on paid leave Dec. 21 following a nearly month-long investigation into alleged unprofessional conduct.
Friend’s of Steiner who have attended board meetings told the Springfield News-Sun that Steiner has not been informed of the allegations against him. They declined to comment when reached this week for this article.
The board said in a statement then that it is reviewing how Steiner interacts with others on the job but has not released specific information about what prompted the investigation. The board did say the investigation is not into criminal allegations.
“The board focused on Mr. Steiner’s alleged misconduct when interacting with others on the job and whether or not he was maintaining the high standards of professional conduct we expect from staff and especially our superintendent,” board member Andy Gundolf said during the Dec. 21 meeting, speaking on behalf of the board.
The board needed to formulate a response to the investigation and present it to Steiner before releasing more information, Gundolf said.
“The board is now discussing an appropriate response to the information that we learned,” Gundolf said. “Obviously, that response will be made public but it is still being formulated and it still needs to be presented to Mr. Steiner. We anticipate we will be communicating our response to Mr. Steiner in the near future.”
The Springfield News-Sun reached out to the school last week to see if the information was ready to be released to the public. However, it was informed that no documents exist. The Springfield News-Sun has previously received Steiner’s personnel record and found no information about the allegations or investigation inside. The paper also requested a paper copy of the allegations filed against Steiner and was told that no documentation exists either.
In the statement, Gundolf said the board understands many residents want more detailed information, but said it wants to be fair to Steiner and follow Ohio law.
“It is unfortunate that the leave has been lengthy, but the board wants to make sure that the investigation is thorough,” he said.