O’Donnell placed on unpaid leave


By Melanie Speicher - mspeicher@aimmedianetwork.com



INDIAN LAKE — The superintendent for Indian Lake Schools has been placed on unpaid leave.

During a special meeting Thursday evening, the district’s board of education approved placing Patrick O’Donnell, 52, of Lewistown on unpaid leave, pending action to terminate him as superintendent.

The board of education placed O’Donnell on paid administrative leave on June 19 after the was arrested and charged with gross sexual imposition. He is accused of abusing a 13-year-old Logan County girl. The abuse allegedly went on for a three-year period. The girl is not a student at Indian Lake Schools.

According to the Indian Lake Schools website, “under Ohio law, O’Donnell has the right to request a full hearing in from the Indian Lake Board of Education or in front of a referee appointed by the Ohio Department of Education before his contract can be terminated.”

O’Donnell has 10 days to request the hearing. If he requests a hearing, it will be held at a later date.

“The board,” said the release on the website, “has not taken any position as to his guilt or innocence on pending matters.”

When O’Donnell was first placed on paid leave, the school board directed him to be at home during regular work hours. He was also told not to be on school property or at any school-related functions in the district or at any other locations.

High school Principal Robert Underwood was named interim superintendent by the board.

O’Donnell appeared in Bellefontaine Municipal Court on June 20. He was released from jail after posting $100,000 bond. He had requested a preliminary hearing in his case.

Logan County Prosecutor Eric Stewart plans to present the O’Donnell case to the Logan County grand jury on July 11. The charges against O’Donnell were dismissed at Stewart’s request.

“We chose not to do a preliminary hearing (which O’Donnell had requested),” said Stewart when the charges were dismissed on June 26. “We will be taking the case to the grand jury.”

The investigation into the charges against O’Donnell began when the Logan County Children’s Services contacted the Washington Township Police Department. After the department’s investigation, O’Donnell was arrested.

O’Donnell has been with the Indian Lake School District since 2010. He had been employed by Sidney City Schools for 20 years. He had been the district’s superintendent, principal at Northwood Elementary School and a teacher.

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By Melanie Speicher

mspeicher@aimmedianetwork.com

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.