The De Soto Board of Education has hired the services of a law firm to guide it while it determines the fate of Superintendent Andy Jay Arbeitman.
Arbeitman was suspended from his position and placed on paid administrative leave on May 29.
The board voted unanimously at a June 5 special meeting to hire the Hillsboro-based Wegmann Law Firm to advise it while it decides its next move.
“There was no vote taken on any other issues,” said assistant superintendent Trish Burkeen, who is performing the superintendent’s duties in Arbeitman’s absence.
Burkeen said the Wegmann firm has been working with the district on a case-by-case basis, but board members figured “it would be better to have a contract in place to take care of this issue.”
In addition, the Leader has obtained a letter dated May 7 and sent to board members that outlines several grievances against Arbeitman. The letter was obtained through a request filed under the state’s Sunshine Law (the open meetings and records statute).
The authors of the letter, who did not sign their names but called themselves “Concerned De Soto Citizens,” define themselves as a group of “concerned patrons, parents and employees.”
Among the grievances registered against Arbeitman, the letter writers allege that he disregarded school policy, did not maintain professional confidentiality, took credit for others’ successes and ideas, made questionable ethical decisions and has poor communication skills.
Arbeitman could not be reached for comment.
Check the June 14 edition of the Jefferson County Leader for more on this story.
– Steve Taylor