April 19, 2014

Mostly clear

Board to consider not renewing Stepp’s contract

The Medina City School board is expected to not renew Superintendent Randy Stepp’s contract at a work session today.

Stepp has been on paid leave since April, pending the outcome of a special state audit into his spending of district money from a carryover fund held by the Medina County Schools’ Educational Service Center.

A resolution on an agenda emailed out Monday morning includes “that Randolph Stepp not be re-employed as Superintendent of Schools at the expiration of his current limited contract, the term of which concludes on July 31, 2014, and that the Treasurer be hereby directed to deliver to Randolph Stepp written notice of such non-reemployment on or before March 1, 2014.”

The school board rescinded Stepp’s new contract in April, saying Ohio open meetings law was violated when it was approved in January. Stepp responded with a lawsuit filed in federal court, and the board countersued.

School Board member Doug Adamczyk said a notice of the meeting was amended Sunday to include the issue.

Randy Stepp

“We’re going to be discussing some contracts, including the superintendent’s,” Adamczyk said.

The revised meeting notice sent out Sunday includes “consideration and possible action on matters relating to renewal/nonrenewal of employee contract(s).”

Adamczyk ruled out firing Stepp as a “possible action” at Monday’s meeting.

“It’s not letting him go, it’s just the contract discussion,” he said.

Adamczyk declined to be more specific on Sunday.

Calls to interim Superintendent Dave Knight and board president Karla Robinson were not returned Sunday.

District treasurer Jim Hudson said he didn’t know what the contract discussion would entail.

School officials have said the special state audit is nearly complete.

The audit followed a public outcry in March over Stepp’s new contract, which provided him with an $83,000 “retention” bonus, and subsequent publicity about earlier contracts that obligated the district to pay for Stepp’s old college loans and for a master’s of business administration.

The educational costs, which totaled more than a quarter-million dollars, were paid with checks from the ESC carryover fund at Stepp’s direction.

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

  • Is

    So the audit must have found nothing. Otherwise they would not moving toward non renewal, they would be looking to terminate. It will be interesting to see what they are on the hook for as far as the lawsuit.

  • Concerned

    OK, a $100K +/- for Stepp to sit around and do nothing, plus his insurance, plus retirement – easy money if you can get it. Honestly can’t see the Board getting off the hook for the “new” contract just on the meeting technicality. Plus, if this goes to court its highly likely Stepp might win damages. This could easily end up costing a Million + depending how it goes – and two old Board members still hanging on and apparently thin they are too important to get out. How can this Board actually think that the public will vote new money until they get this mess over and done?

  • guest

    We seem to forget the Medina City School taxpayers are paying for TWO superintendents right now. Wonder where these extra funds came from? Hmmmm…. let’s ponder on that one.

  • Medina Retiree

    It’s even better: Stepp has iron-clad “old” contract expiring July ’14. In all realistic scenarios Medina will pay double this year. And then they will have to hire the replacement (which is not that much cheaper – upper business management for 700+ crew costs pretty penny these days). nI wonder if those dumb-heads who started this witch-hunt had calculated the costs ahead.

  • Jazz McBuzzle

    Your scenarios are woefully ill-informed. The audit will show wrong-doing serious enough to warrant out and out dismissal. The state will revoke his superintendent’s license. His failure to own a license in good standing disqualifies him from the old contract AND the badly executed new one. All lawsuits will be voided — No contract, no legal standing to receive damages. End of story.