SWCS employee under investigation

Officials in the South-Western City School District have hired a third party investigator after an elementary school principal was accused of sexual misconduct.

The allegations were briefly brought up at the Aug. 11 board of education meeting. Eric Pilya alleged the principal engaged in "an improper relationship" with a volunteer PTA member. Before Pilya could elaborate on the situation, Board President Cathy Johnson stopped him and said the issue should not be addressed in a public setting.

Pilya said he made a formal complaint against the employee in May, at which time the incident was investigated by members of the district administration. After the initial investigation, Pilya said he was told it was a case of "he said, she said." He said the matter was not resolved and wanted to address the board and administration.

Johnson asked Pilya to meet with district Superintendent Dr. Bill Wise before publically addressing the board.

After the meeting between the superintendent and Pilya, Wise issued this statement. "The district takes allegations of this type very seriously. We have been working to conduct a complete and thorough investigation of the issue and the allegations surrounding the situation. Because of the complexity of this issue and the district’s commitment to ensuring the accuracy of its investigation, we have secured a third party independent investigator to fully evaluate the situation. When the third party investigation is concluded, we will act according to policy based upon the information available to us."

Wise added, "Until the district has all of the information needed to bring resolution to this issue, our focus will be on minimizing the distraction at the elementary school."

The employee in question has accepted an open position at the District Service Center in the communications department. The district is now trying to fill the position for principal.

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