PHOENIX — The Governing Board of the Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind has directed the Attorney General’s Office to begin negotiating a possible resolution of Superintendent Robert Hill’s contract.
Although ASDB officials didn’t elaborate or provide further details, it appears Hill’s tenure at the school is over.
ASDB’s board voted on the measure Thursday evening at a special meeting at its Phoenix Day School for the Deaf campus.
Hill was placed on administrative leave in October while under investigation for his conduct toward five employees who accused him of harassment and discrimination.
The report cleared him of any wrongdoing, but former Assistant Superintendent Nancy Amann, one of the employees who filed a complaint that led to the investigation, is suing the school, saying Hill retaliated against her after she filed a separate grievance against him.
The conflict between the two administrators began about a year ago when Hill began investigating Amann after she ordered a vehicle search at a dorm at the Tucson campus.
Hill eventually placed Amann on administrative leave and recommended that her contract not be renewed.
In addition, a separate investigation released in November from the Arizona auditor general faulted Hill and other school officials for tallying about $10,000 in inappropriate travel expenses over three years.
The report found school officials spent $9,637, with Hill accounting for about $8,700 of those costs.
Most of the money was spent on excessive lodging, unnecessary transportation, ineligible meals and other inappropriate costs.
Hill also received scrutiny for a possible conflict of interest with former board President Bernhardt Jones for their involvement with a company that administers an assessment test for classroom interpreters.
The series of investigations and complaints began in the spring amid student protests after the school suspended its agricultural program and fired a popular teacher.
Students, staffers, parents and some alumni criticized Hill and Jones for poor leadership and a lack of communication.
Gov. Jan Brewer appointed five new board members in May, about a month after the protests began. Jones was one of the board members replaced.
There was no public discussion Thursday night, as the board spent almost an hour in executive session discussing Hill’s contract.
Hill made $125,000 and had about a year left on his contract.
ASDB officials gave no indication that the school was going to begin a search for Hill’s replacement.
Assistant Superintendent Bill Koehler was appointed interim superintendent in October after Hill was placed on leave.