Oregon board chief Kapfhammer found guilty of misdemeanor

Plea deal reduced charge in Clay High School incident

P.J. Kapfhammer, left, with attorney Jon Richardson, was found guilty of disorderly conduct in Maumee Municipal Court Monday.
P.J. Kapfhammer, left, with attorney Jon Richardson, was found guilty of disorderly conduct in Maumee Municipal Court Monday.

Oregon school board President P.J. Kapfhammer appeared relieved when he was found guilty Monday of a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge related to a Feb. 1 incident at Clay High School after a menacing charge was dismissed.

After the hearing, Mr. Kapfhammer refused to comment on his case’s outcome, but Scott Schwab, an attorney for Mr. Kapfhammer, said his client was satisfied with the disposition.

“We are happy that the case is behind us,” Mr. Schwab said after the hearing. “Mr. Kapfhammer can get [back] to the [school] kids and to working with them.”

Mr. Kapfhammer entered a no-contest plea Monday in Maumee Municipal Court to the disorderly conduct charge, a minor misdemeanor, and was found guilty by Judge Gary Byers. The menacing charge, a fourth-degree misdemeanor, was dismissed as part of a plea agreement.

He was ordered to pay a $150 fine and $87 in court costs. Once out of the courtroom, he paid in cash to a court clerk who had come up to him in a hallway.

The charges were filed Feb. 13 in Oregon Municipal Court against Mr. Kapfhammer after a police inquiry into the incident in the Clay High School exercise room.

Thomas Blachowski, 25, the high school baseball team’s honorary manager who has autism, was working out with players in the exercise room when the board president yelled a profanity and threatened to harm him, according to a police report filed two days after the incident by Terrie Blachowski, the man’s mother.

During the hearing Monday, Mr. Schwab told Judge Byers that Mr. Kapfhammer had completed nine sessions in anger management “by or around” May 28. Mr. Kapfhammer was ordered to participate in anger-management counseling as condition of his bond when Judge Byers released him on his own recognizance at his arraignment March 4 in Oregon Municipal Court.

Speaking during a board of education meeting nearly three weeks after the incident, Mr. Kapfhammer choked back tears and said he didn’t want the incident to divide the community.

During the court hearing Monday, Mr. Schwab also said Mr. Kapfhammer “regrets the inconvenience” the incident had caused the victim and the school system and that his client was “ready to move on” and “refocus his energy” on serving the schools.

Mr. Kapfhammer had a misdemeanor criminal record from the 1990s when he ran for the school board in 2011. That record was made public during the election campaign when an anonymous mailer sent out to the media and community highlighted tax and child-support delinquencies from a decade ago.

Contact Mike Sigov at: sigov@theblade.com, 419-724-6089, or on Twitter @mikesigovblade.