By Kevin Kelley
The more residents learn about the failed efforts of the Fairview Park City Schools Board of Education to hire a successor to Superintendent Brion Deitsch, the more unhappy they appear to become, especially with board President Joe Shucofsky.
The board said the educator they initially hired, Geoffrey Andrews, failed to be forthcoming regarding his employment history, specifically when his tenure as director of the Western Academy of Beijing ended. A letter informed parents of students in that institution that Andrews was no longer director in August 2013. But Andrews’ application to the district indicated he was still director when he applied earlier this year. At a June 16 school board meeting, Shucofsky acknowledged Andrews referenced some issue with his current employer the day after he was hired. The school board president said he failed to fully share Andrews’ comments with his fellow members.
Many attendees of the June 16 school board meeting applauded public calls for Shucofsky’s resignation, and more criticisms of Shucofsky have appeared in online forums in the ensuing weeks.
In an e-mail to West Life Sunday, Shucofsky said he is not leaving the board.
“I have no intention of resigning either my seat or my board presidency,” he said.
Some residents, in online comments, have called for Shucofsky to be recalled.
But a school board member cannot be recalled from office, according to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections and the Ohio Secretary of State’s office.
State law allows for voters to petition to place the recall of an elected official on the ballot only in chartered municipalities in which the charter provides for recall procedures.
“School districts are not eligible to adopt a charter,” according to a document from the Ohio secretary of state’s office.
However, all public officials can be removed for misconduct in office. According to state law, the removal process requires that a written complaint stating the alleged charges against the official be filed with the common pleas court. The complaint must be accompanied by voters’ signatures of a number equal to at least 15 percent of the votes cast in that political subdivision for the most recent election for governor.
“A hearing is then held, and a judge or jury decides whether the individual should be removed,” the statement from the Ohio secretary of state’s office said.
Shucofsky, an attorney, did not respond directly at the June 16 meeting to the calls for his resignation. But he did apologize to the community and to his fellow board members for not pressing Andrews for more information about his Beijing employment situation.
Shucofsky’s current term runs through 2015.