Indian Lake places superintendent on unpaid leave

Patrick J. O’Donnell

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Patrick J. O’Donnell

The Indian Lake Board of Education has placed its superintendent — who faces allegations of sexual misconduct —on unpaid leave, according to a school press release.

Patrick O’Donnell was arrested on June 19 and was charged with gross sexual imposition as he is accused of inappropriately touching a 13-year-old girl, who is not a student in the district, over a three year period. That charge has since been dropped, but authorities say they plan to take the case to a grand jury July 11 and to try to get him indicted in common pleas court.

PREVIOUS REPORTING: Indian Lake superintendent on leave after arrest on sex charges

The school immediately moved to place O’Donnell on paid leave after he was arrested, but said they couldn’t put him on unpaid leave right away for legal reasons. The board met in a special meeting and went into executive session, the press release says, and returned to take a vote.

“Upon returning from executive session, the Board of Education passed a resolution for the purpose of moving Patrick O’Donnell to unpaid status, pending action to terminate,” the press release states. “Under Ohio law, Mr. O’Donnell has the right to request a full hearing in front of the Indian Lake Board of Education or in front of a referee appointed by the Ohio Department of Education before his contract can be terminated. He has ten days to request a hearing after he receives notice of the Board’s action on Thursday evening.”

MORE: Case dropped against Indian Lake superintendent, will go to grand jury

The release states that the board will wait to see if O’Donnell wants to challenge their action.

“If such a request for a hearing is made by Mr. O’Donnell, a hearing will be scheduled at a later date,” the release states. “The Board has not taken any position as to his guilt or innocence on pending matters.”

Law enforcement officials have said they intend to try to indict O’Donnell on July 11. It is unclear what charges prosecutors will seek.

The Springfield News Sun has reached out to O’Donnell’s lawyer for comment and will update this story with any new information.

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