July 31, 2014

Medina
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Former superintendent Randy Stepp issues resignation to Medina Schools

The Medina Board of Education accepted a resignation letter Monday from former Superintendent Randy Stepp.

The letter was hand-delivered to board President Thomas Cahalan on April 25.

Randy Stepp

Randy Stepp

In the one-paragraph letter, Stepp said he was resigning in response to a request from the school board:

“Dear Medina City School District Board of Education:

“You already terminated my employment as evidenced by the many actions you have taken against me since the beginning of last year. You made further clear that, under no circumstances, will you ever reinstate me to the position of superintendent. In fact, you just approved a permanent contract for Dave Knight to replace me. Notwithstanding, you requested me to formally resign. I do not believe that is necessary given the forgoing, but you have left me with no choice. Therefore, I hereby resign.

Regards, Randolph S. Stepp”

Cahalan read Stepp’s letter aloud in open session and replied briefly.

“Since receiving the letter, we’ve talked with outside counsel and their recommendation is that the board should accept this resignation,” he said.

None of the other board members commented and the board unanimously accepted Stepp’s resignation.

The significance of the letter remains unclear.

School board members would not say how the resignation might affect several lawsuits filed by Stepp charging school board members with breach of contract, defamation and invasion of privacy.

Cahalan and school district attorney James Shields had advised the board members not to comment on the lawsuits.

Stepp, reached by phone Monday evening, also declined to comment.

Stepp was placed on administrative leave April 8, 2013, pending completion of a special state audit into his spending of district funds from a “carryover” fund held at the Medina City Schools’ Educational Service Center.

The school board moved to fire Stepp in October after the special audit revealed $4,121 in illegal spending as well as $1.5 million that either was not properly documented or had an “unclear” purpose.

Stepp is contesting the special audit in a lawsuit he filed against state Auditor Dave Yost in November. He also has sued to reinstate a new five-year contract the board approved in January 2013 but rescinded three months later, saying it was voted on without proper publicity in violation of Ohio’s open meetings law.

Dave Knight, a retired Sidney Fenn Elementary School principal, was hired as interim superintendent after Stepp was placed on leave. Last month, the board approved a 15-month contract for Knight to serve as superintendent, with a two-year renewal option.

Contact reporter Dan Pompili at (330) 721-4012 or ­dpompili@medina-gazette.com.