ASDB board calls special meeting on investigation

2013-09-20T00:00:00Z ASDB board calls special meeting on investigationBy Jamar Younger Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

The superintendent of the Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind will have to wait to see if he receives any discipline for the complaints that were filed against him by four school employees.

ASDB’s Governing Board called a special meeting for Tuesday in Phoenix to continue discussing the investigation into Superintendent Robert Hill, which culminated with a report that was completed this week.

It’s possible the board could make a decision on Tuesday, but board President Michael Williams said the upcoming discussions could be a lengthy process.

The board met for almost two hours in executive decision Thursday evening at the Phoenix Day School for the Deaf, where Tuesday’s meeting also will be held.

“We will continue the discussion and review the investigation,” Williams said. “It’s not an easy decision.”

The Governing Board decided to hire a private investigator in May after four employees filed complaints against Hill, who, along with former board President Bernhardt Jones, was criticized for poor communication and a lack of leadership.

Parents, students and staff members also criticized Hill for dismissing two popular employees, agriculture teacher Richard Layton and longtime administrator Nancy Amann.

Amann, whose contract was not renewed in April, was one of the five employees who filed a complaint against Hill.

At the time, Hill cited nine complaints against Amann, including mistreatment of employees and letting employees start work before they were approved for hire.

The dismissals led to protests at ASDB’s campus in Tucson, in addition to the complaints that were filed.

Both Hill and Jones, who no longer serves on the board, are also under scrutiny from the state for potential conflicts of interest and excessive travel expenses.

The potential conflict stemmed from Hill and Jones’ involvement in TASK12, an interpreter-training program. Jones was the program’s director, while Hill was listed as a test administrator for the program.

ASDB entered into a one-year contract with the program in 2011 for about $25,000, according to public documents.

Hill said Thursday that he won’t comment until the board makes a decision.

Contact reporter Jamar Younger at jyounger@azstarnet.com or 573-4242.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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