Indian Lake school leader still on leave

By Patricia Ann Speelman - [email protected]

LEWISTOWN — Former Sidney City Schools superintendent Patrick O’Donnell remains on administrative leave from his job as superintendent of the Indian Lake Local School District following a hearing before an Ohio Department of Education referee.

The referee, Robert M. Harrelson, looked at eight charges made by the school district that the district claimed were grounds for O’Donnell’s dismissal.

O’Donnell has been indicted on 14 charges: four counts of rape, all first degree felonies, four counts of sexual battery, all second degree felonies, and six counts of gross sexual imposition, all third degree felonies.

He was originally arrested, June 19, and charged with gross sexual imposition in Bellefontaine Municipal Court. That charge was dismissed when Logan County Prosecutor Eric Stewart decided to present the case to the Logan County grand jury.

He was indicted by the Logan County grand jury on July 11. He is accused of having abused a girl, now 13, since 2013.

The Indian Lake district said that because he was arrested and not able to report to work, the district had grounds to terminate his employment.

The referee, in a 23-page summary of findings which cited multiple legal precedents, concluded that “the Board of Indian lake Local School District has failed to provide reliable, probative and substantial evidence that there existed good and just cause for Mr. O’Donnell’s termination and recommends that all charges be dismissed againat Mr. O’Donnell and that he remain on unpaid administrative suspension until the resolution of the criminal proceedings.”

His trial has been scheduled to begin Dec. 6.

By Patricia Ann Speelman

[email protected]