Former Washington (Ohio) Local Schools’ Superintendent Patrick Hickey is still banned from district property, but will be seated on the school board after other members voted Wednesday to temporarily move board meetings off campus.
The Toledo Blade reports that the board's decision came during an at times raucous meeting punctuated by shouts from the crowd, standing ovations, and strong feelings all around. Allegations of inappropriate conduct by Hickey dominated the public comment portion.
At the end of the meeting revoted and unanimously decided to move meetings so Hickey could attend, despite most vocal opposition from many in the audience.
Hickey resigned as Washington Local’s superintendent in December 2015, as the board was about to consider a motion to fire him because. A law firm hired by the board unearthed evidence that Hickey failed to inform the district that he left a district in Addison, Mich., in 1990 after accusations of inappropriate relationships with students.
Among the most vocal speakers at the Washington school board meeting was Kristina Hassenzahl, who played on the girls’ basketball team in Addison when Hickey was coach.
She told the board she was 14 when Mr. Hickey “groomed me sexually.”
The separation agreement between Hickey and the district limits his access to district property for events other than those related to his children. After an altercation between Hickey and school officials at a basketball game, the board banned him from all district property.
Former board members and other residents also urged the board to keep the ban.
Last month, a board with members whose terms were expiring voted to keep Hickey’s ban in place. But with a new board seated on Wednesday, supporters and opponents of. Hickey turned out in force.