June 29, 2016

Mostly clear

Hanwell: Stepp situation not our jurisdiction

MEDINA — Mayor Dennis Hanwell gave a brief statement at Monday’s City Council meeting in response to questions from the public about why city officials have not weighed in on the controversy surrounding Medina Schools Superintendent Randy Stepp.

“The mayor and City Council have no authority or oversight of the school operations,” Hanwell said. “This is entirely under the purview of the elected Medina city school district board.”

The school board has asked state Auditor Dave Yost to conduct an examination of Stepp’s use of district money from a “carryover” fund held by the Medina County Schools Educational Service Center.

Hanwell said the only other official who would have jurisdiction would be county Prosecutor Dean Holman “due to the city school district being in multiple jurisdictions, and the amount of money involved and the fact that the fund in question is a county fund known as the Medina County Schools Educational Service Center fund.”

The mayor added, “It is also important to understand that the city and Mr. Holman can only review legal matters, as opposed to ethical or moral issues.”
Hanwell said he and city Law Director Greg Huber have spoken to Holman and offered to assist the prosecutor “in any way we can to bring this matter to an appropriate resolution.”

Holman has said he will meet with Medina Police Chief Patrick Berarducci and county Sheriff Tom Miller to discuss whether further action is warranted.

Contact reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or kfischer@medina-gazette.com.