BELLEFONTAINE — A former Sidney City Schools administrator has been arrested in Logan County and charged with gross sexual imposition.
According to Logan County Prosecutor Eric Stewart, Patrick O’Donnell, 52, was arrested Monday by the Washington Township Police Department. The charge against O’Donnell, who is currently the superintendent of Indian Lake Schools, is a third-degree felony.
During a meeting Monday night, the Indian Lake Schools Board of Education placed O’Donnell on paid administrative leave with directives to be at his home during regular work hours and not to be on school property or at any school related-functions in the district or at any other locations.
Because O’Donnell was arrested Monday, the board has not yet had time to provide due process required by law to place O’Donnell on paid leave, stated a press release from the district.
The board appointed current Indian Lake High School Principal Robert Underwood as interim superintendent.
According to the release, the district had no prior reports of any inappropriate conduct of O’Donnell. The alleged misconduct does not involve any student of the Indian Lake Local School District.
“Student safety is of highest priority of the board of education and the district’s staff,” said the release. “Any reports or allegations of misconduct are promptly investigated and action is taken immediately.”
“The investigation has been ongoing for the last week or so,” said Stewart. “They received the information from the Logan County Children’s Services (about the alleged abuse).”
O’Donnell, who is being held in the Logan County Jail, is accused abusing a 13-year-old girl over the last three years. The girl is a Logan County resident but is not a student at Indian Lake Schools, said Stewart.
According to information on the Logan County Sheriff’s Office jail roster site, O’Donnell is scheduled to appear Wednesday morning in the Bellefontaine Municipal Court.
The case remains under investigation and additional charges could be filed, said Stewart.
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.