April 16, 2014

Mostly sunny

Knight: I’m with Medina Schools as long as needed

MEDINA — David Knight said he is willing to stay on as interim superintendent of Medina Schools as long as the board needs him.

“Mr. Knight has kindly offered to extend his contract,” board President Karla Robinson said following Monday night’s board work session.

David Knight

Knight was named interim superintendent in April 23 after the board placed Superintendent Randy Stepp on paid leave pending the outcome of a special state audit into his use of district money from a carryover account held by the Medina County Schools’ Educational Service Center.

Last month, the board also asked that the audit include Stepp’s use of the district’s American Express credit card in December 2007.

Knight, the retired principal of Sidney Fenn Elementary School, agreed on a contract to run through June 30. He is paid $30 an hour.

School officials had said they hoped the special audit would be finished by the end of May, but now they’re not sure when it might be completed.

Robinson said the auditors have not yet informed the board when the audit will be complete. The board has not yet received a draft copy.

The audit will examine spending from the fund, which included more than a quarter-million dollars to pay off Stepp’s old college loans and for a master’s in business administration from Case Western Reserve University.

Stepp’s contract obligated the district to pay for his “past academic degrees,” and for college courses he took as superintendent. But school board members have said they did not know the full cost.

Stepp filed a lawsuit in federal court May 17 against school board members and other district officials, charging them with breach of contract, defamation and invasion of privacy.

In the suit, Stepp charges that the board was fully aware of the full cost of the contract provisions but falsely claimed ignorance in a March 22 news release.

The board members named in the suit all voted to rescind Stepp’s contract April 16, arguing it was not valid because the board had violated the state’s open meeting law by failing to properly publicize the Jan. 7 meeting when it was approved.

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

  • lookingallaroundme

    Shared services!!! Medina could take half of Kubilus from Cloverleaf. It doesn’t matter which half as both have the same brain power. Once that happens, Medina could simply take him full time. He only makes $105,000 in salary but add in his benefits and he is around $150,000; still, compare that to Stepp and it is a bargain! How about a trade? We will give you Kubilus, our curriculum director, and any principal we have in exchange for a riding lawn mower.

  • Medina retiree

    Are you sure that you don’t want to trade Kubilus for Knight in lieu of a lawn mower? Our dude has dementia (or Alzheimer’s, I am not totally sure), he can’t read from a paper, addressed High-School graduates like they are 4-th graders, and it appears that Knight still thinks he is an elementary school principal. I understand, a lawn mower has higher intrinsic value, but Knight comes with an adult diaper included!

  • lookingallaroundme

    Hmmm, a superintendent who can’t read, exhibits confusion as to the general state of reality, and doesn’t seem to have a solid grasp of whom he is speaking to. It is a close call but our current curriculum director embodies all those traits, so we have that covered. I truly do think Medina city and Cloverleaf will be sharing Kubilus. before the 13-14 year has ended. If that happens, I am very sorry for you and I guess for us too because we won’t be getting a lawn mower.

  • SI

    Why keep knight on? The end of May came and went and no news. nI guessing no news and a widened probe means they aren’t finding any wrong doing. nI mean at what point do we say, ok so he followed the laws, whats next? There is going to come a time where we either have to buy him out or move on and work with him. I say if there is nothing turned up in the next few days we bring him back give him very strict guidelines and get back to work. nRight now we are paying 2 supt contracts, plus whatever the audit costs, plus there is pending law suit. nLets get rid of knight put stepp back to work end the audit and start saving money.