August 1, 2014

Medina
Partly sunny
68°F

Former Medina superintendent Randy Stepp drops lawsuit against auditor

Nick Glunt and Nancy Johnson | The Gazette

MEDINA — Former Medina Schools Superintendent Randy Stepp dropped his lawsuit against Ohio Auditor David Yost, school officials said Monday.

The school board voted to fire Stepp in October after a special state audit reported $4,121 in illegal spending by Stepp and $1.5 million that was either not properly documented or had an unclear purpose.

Randy Stepp

Randy Stepp

Stepp had been on paid leave since April 8, 2013, pending completion of the audit into his spending of district funds from a “carryover” fund held at the Medina County Schools’ Educational Service Center.

Stepp’s lawsuit, filed on Nov. 13 in Medina County Common Pleas Court, charged that the audit was biased and therefore illegal because a Medina resident had worked on the audit. Stepp said the resident, senior audit manager William J. Ward, had a vested interest in the audit.

Stepp also said Ward sits on the board of trustees of Project: LEARN, which hired former school board President Karla Robinson as its executive director while the audit was ongoing.

School Board President Tom Cahalan announced at Monday’s board meeting that Stepp voluntarily dismissed the suit on May 9. The school board also was named as a defendant in the suit, in addition to the state auditor.

Still moving forward is a lawsuit Stepp filed in federal court in May 2013 charging board members and other district officials with breach of contract, defamation and invasion of privacy.

In that suit, Stepp asks to be awarded the “full value” of his Jan. 7, 2013, five-year contact — valued at $1.2 million by the teachers union — as well as compensation for damage to his reputation and “mental anguish and suffering.”

Lawyers for Stepp could not be reached for comment Monday.

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com. Follow him on Twitter @ngfalcon. Contact reporter Nancy Johnson at areanews@medina-gazette.com.