September 15, 2014

Medina
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Medina Schools to weigh Randy Stepp’s fate

The Medina school board will meet in closed executive session tonight to discuss whether Randy Stepp should be fired as a result of a special state audit, released Tuesday, that reported he had misspent at least $4,121.

According to a meeting notice sent out Wednesday, the board will discuss “consideration and possible action on contract/employment of superintendent and related matters.”

Randy Stepp

The meeting will be at 6 p.m. at the distance learning lab in Medina High School, 777 E. Union St.

Board President Karla Robinson said all five board members needed to consult with their attorneys before deciding what — if anything — should be done.

“We are not necessarily going to take action,” she said. “We might take action, we might not. It depends on what counsel advices.”

The other four board members could not be reached for comment.

Robinson declined to say what she wanted to see happen, saying she had to be careful because of the ongoing lawsuits between the board and Stepp.

“I don’t know what we’re going to decide,” she said. “We’re going to sit and discuss our options with counsel and do what’s best for the district.”

Stepp has been on paid administrative leave since April 8, pending the outcome of the special audit.

Interim Superintendent Dave Knight said he wanted to see the ongoing controversy resolved before voters decide the district’s five-year, 5.9-mill levy on the Nov. 5 ballot.

“I’d like to see the problem come to an end so we can focus on the levy,” he said. “You hate to see kids have consequences for nothing they’ve done.”

On Tuesday Ohio Auditor David Yost issued findings for recovery of $4,121, which the auditors said Stepp spent illegally from a “carryover” fund held by the Medina County Schools’ Educational Service Center.

The amount included money spent for gift cards and travel expenses related to a 2008 trip to Orlando, Fla., for a conference.

The audit also found that between July 1, 2005, and March 31, 2013, the ESC issued 247 checks totaling $947,128 that were not properly approved by the school district or recorded in district records.

Auditors also said that more than a half-million dollars of that total went for expenses where the “proper public purpose was unclear.”

The audit also stated that an investigation into a $172,000 student loan payoff directed by Stepp is incomplete and that it’s unclear whether the loan should have been disclosed on Stepp’s W-2.

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