June 29, 2016

Partly sunny

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The school board rescinded Stepp’s new contract in April, saying Ohio open meetings law was violated when it was approved in January.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.