Andy Jay Arbeitman, superintendent of the De Soto School District, has been placed on paid administrative leave, says Jeff Russell, president of the district’s Board of Education.
Russell said Arbeitman also has been suspended from his duties as superintendent.
He said the actions were taken by a 6-0 vote of the school board at a May 29 special meeting.
Board member Beverly Wilson was absent.
Russell said while Arbeitman is on leave, assistant superintendent Trish Burkeen will perform the superintendent’s duties.
He said he could not comment on why the board took the actions against Arbeitman.
“I really can’t talk about that at this time,” he said. “It’s a personnel matter. There are no other details to share. We have consulted with our legal representatives every step of the way of this process. We’re trying to do things the right way for the school district.”
Russell said there is no timeline concerning when the board might make a decision on Arbeitman’s ultimate fate with the district.
“We don’t know that,” he said. “We’ll have to go through the process.”
Arbeitman could not be reached for comment.
Arbeitman, 48, was hired in 2007 to replace Terry Noble, who retired a year ago as superintendent of the Mehlville School District in south St. Louis County.
The school board in January extended Arbeitman’s contract for two years through the 2014-2015 school year.
He is scheduled to be paid $154,438 for the 2012-2013 school year. According to his contract, pay raises are based on the percentage increase made each year to the teachers’ salary schedule and could range from nothing to 5 percent.
– Steve Taylor