April 23, 2014

Medina
Cloudy
38°F

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.

  • lige

    I don’t think for one minute that board didn’t know what was going on. RS manipulated everyone involved and he owned every little peon underneath him. Unless you were willing to be under his rule, you were gone. The board needs to man up and own it instead of shoving everyone but themselves under the bus to make themselves look good on their way out. Words flowing out of their main spokesperson are laughable. Seems like no mention of their business manager and treasurer during this fiasco. Remember that certain business manager was (and for all we know still is) bestie with RS. You can not tell me that these people were in the total dark. And for the love of God, to say you cant micro manage…certain people need to shut their mouth and leave the building already.

  • Concerned

    Amen! A lot of us have been saying the same for weeks, but the big egos of 3 Board members continually gets in the way of the “right” decisions. As for the micro managing – how about just managing period. That was a very strange comment, especially coming from a person with a Doctorate and who is now the Executive Director of a local non-profit. If the Board doesn’t manage the Superintendent and Staff – Who Does??? Apparently in the last few years it has been NO One! nAlso, once again we have Dave Knight with his same old lines. Face reality Mr. Knight, the Board doesn’t have the guts to make the right decisions and everything isn’t going to be just wonderful if they fire Stepp. Too many skeletons are sill in too many closets both in the financial office and with the Board. For the community’s sake I hope the levy passes, but I believe it is still an uphill battle for the next 2 weeks.

  • Buffalo

    “Closed executive session” and “all five board members needed to consult with their attorneys before deciding what u2014 if anything u2014 should be done.” The aforementioned quotes tell me that the proceedings will be conducted just as they have been thus far. This whole fiasco is truly becoming a tragedy worthy of Shakespeare’s penning. If Medina City Schools really want this mess to go away for good, there needs to be complete transparency. To those involved: stop stalling and have the guts to come forward and finally admit everything. People will eventually find out, so just get it over with!

  • Wake up Medina

    The Board and Knight are still a mess and a discrace to this community. Grenfell, Vlcek and Robinson still will not accept ANY blame for this mess, and have cost the taxpayers close to a million dollars of waste, that could have gone to the children they say they care so much about. And that double dipping Knight who cares so much for the children that he has threatened to close an elementary school, take away Middleschool sports, and other things. Oh sure, he wants us to vote for the levy, and cares SO much for the community, but he does not even live in the community and can not vote for the levy. What a class act. nnWhen the past levies have failed by large margins, the taxpayers implored the Board to think outside the box to fund the schools. Knight, taking his cues from Stepp, Irish, Weaver and alike, decided to cut from the kids, while they get fatter and fatter. And the Board members follow like sheep, not one, including those idiot new members would stand up and say this is wrong. nnSimply, here is how we solve the monetary issues with the schools without costing any new taxpayer monies, or levies. First, privatize bussing, which will bring bussing back, bring back all the let go drivers, AND save the District well over one million dollars per year. Therefore, Heritage would stay open, no banded schools, Middleschool sports and extra curriculars would remaine, and new teachers could be hired. Next, remove all the principals at the high school, except for one, and all the assistant principals in the entire district. The savings would be incredible, and therefore there would be no need for a levy. And all other services would be brought back. VOTE NO FOR THE LEVY! GET RID OF KNIGHT AND ALL CURRENT BOARD MEMBERS!

  • si

    I dont think you can discuss termination of a contract in open. I think it has to be in executive session

  • Concerned

    You are correct – Termination discussions must be in Executive session. However, I cannot understand why each Board member has to “talk to their individual attorney”! Shouldn’t this matter be handled by the Attorney or firm that represents the School District?

  • guest

    Being a government employee you are held to a higher standard. Great, you want to purchase “gifts” for employees to motivate them. That comes out of your own pocket. To ask for a reimbursement for those expenses appalls me, being a government employee myself. That’s like me purchasing the gifts myself. I didn’t approve of those items. To me that is NOT a gift. He just doesn’t get it, and his arrogance says it all.

  • Bill Williams

    “Auditors also said that more than a half-million dollars of that total nwent for expenses where the u201cproper public purpose was unclear.u201dnnnDoublespeak for more RS shenanigans