Allen reinstated to teaching, coaching duties

By Shannon Bohle - [email protected]

HOUSTON — Hardin-Houston Local School District teacher Brad Allen was reinstated to his teaching and coaching responsibilities on Feb. 22, 2022, after being placed on leave during a sheriff’s office investigation into a complaint of an allegation posted on Facebook around Jan. 4, 2022.

On the evening of Dec. 28, 2021, Superintendent Ryan Maier found out about a Facebook post alleging Allen had engaged in sexual abuse. Even though the post was taken down shortly thereafter, Maier was obligated to follow reporting requirements, so he contacted the Shelby County’s Sheriff’s Office the morning of Dec. 29, 2021.

The case was then forwarded to the Miami County Sheriff’s Office because that is where the alleged crime took place, and where Allen and the alleged victim live. Detective T. M. Cooper opened a case file to investigate any “possible sex offense” activities that Allen may have engaged in between Jan. 1, 1995, and Dec. 31, 2021.

During the time it took for the the detective to conduct the investigation, Allen was put on non-disciplinary, paid teaching and coaching leave at the high school.

According to the official sheriff’s office report, on Jan. 4, 2022, Cooper met with the alleged victim in reference to the investigation, who described sexual abuse beginning at age 10. She also described three events, occurring later, one in 2019 one in May 2021, and one in June 2021. At least two of the alleged events occurred after one or both parties had consumed alcohol. On Jan. 27, 2022, Cooper noted in his report the alleged victim contacted him stating “she no longer wants to pursue this investigation.”

Cooper noted, “I met with [the alleged victim] at the Miami County Sheriff’s Office, and prior to signing the form, I asked if she had been threatened or why she did not want to pursue the matter.”

Finally, the alleged victim “stated that she had not been threatened and had a lot going on and did not want the investigation pursued further,” so Cooper contacted the Miami County Prosecutor who said theinvestigation should be closed and no charges filed.

Following the earlier newspaper article that was published on Jan. 14, 2022, reporting the investigation, on Jan. 18, the alleged victim reached out to the Sidney Daily News by email. She was given the opportunity to be interviewed by the newspaper or she could supply a written statement. She chose to do neither.

The decision to reinstate Allen from leave was apparently not discussed at the Board of Education meeting held on Feb. 21 as it was not included in the report of meeting minutes report to the Sidney Daily News.

In a follow-up phone call with superintendent on Feb. 23, 2022, Maier stated he was the sole individual making the decision about Allen’s return to work.

“There wasn’t a meeting. I was going to take the information gleaned from the Miami County Sheriff’s Office and base my decision on that,” Maier said. “In light of them closing the case at the Miami County Sheriff’s Office and the prosecutor, and they said the case should be closed with no charges filed, with that being said, he returned to work yesterday.”

By Shannon Bohle

[email protected]