NW superintendent supporter: Investigation unfair, openness needed

Dec 16, 2017
  • By Parker Perry
  • Staff Writer
Northwestern superintendent Jesse Steiner

The Northwestern Board of Education met for at least four hours Saturday afternoon to discuss an investigation of a public employee.

Superintendent Jesse Steiner is being investigated for allegations of unprofessional conduct, according to a statement from the board’s attorney. He hasn’t been placed on leave. School board President Donna Meyers and other school leaders have declined to detail the allegations.

PREVIOUSLY: Northwestern investigating allegations against superintendent

“The board is investigating allegations of unprofessional conduct that were raised concerning the superintendent,” the statement says. “The superintendent is aware of the investigation and is not reporting to work to allow for a thorough and expeditious investigation. Once the investigation has been completed, the board will take whatever action it deems is in the best interests of the district and the students it serves.”

The executive session Saturday lasted at least four hours and was ongoing at deadline. A full story of the meeting can be found online at SpringfieldNewsSun.com.

Steiner hasn’t been able to be reached for comment and didn’t attend the meeting. About a dozen of his supporters attended.

Jay Skrabacz is a community member who knows Steiner and went to the meeting. He believes the superintendent has been treated unfairly.

READ: Northwestern to discuss complaints amid superintendent probe

“Jesse Steiner is a great man,” Skrabacz said. “He is a family man. He is a great husband and father.”

What’s happening isn’t right, he said.

“This is very unfair,” Skrabacz said. “My understanding is that Mr. Steiner was asked not to report to work and was not given any explanation other than there was an investigation into some accusation.”

The board should be more transparent, he said.

“It’s critical that people in the community know what’s going on,” Skrabacz said. “In this day and age when you don’t do that, you leave a lot of thoughts and opinions out there. You see that on Facebook, where folks are just formulating their thoughts and opinions and this is unfair to Steiner and his family.”

MORE: No action taken in Northwestern superintendent investigation

He asked that the community to suspend judgment until details and a full investigation takes place. He said the board should give the Northwestern community some idea what is going on.