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Published: Tuesday, 11/26/2013

Steubenville school employees placed on leave

BY ROBERT ZULLO
BLOCK NEWS ALLIANCE
Steubenville Schools Superintendent Michael McVey has been put on leave with pay. Steubenville Schools Superintendent Michael McVey has been put on leave with pay.
STEUBENVILLE HERALD STAR/MICHAEL D. McELWAIN Enlarge

Three Steubenville School District employees indicted in connection with a 2012 rape involving two football players have been placed on leave with pay.

In a news release today, the Steubenville Board of Education said it has appointed Richard Ranallo, a retired former superintendent, to temporarily replace Michael McVey, who is charged with obstructing justice, tampering with evidence, falsification and obstructing official business. If convicted on all counts, he could serve more than 5 1/2 years in prison, according to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, who, amid allegations of a cover-up, convened a special grand jury in April after Steubenville High players Trent Mays and Ma'Lik Richmond were found delinquent in the rape of an intoxicated 16-year-old girl after a night of partying.

Mr. McVey was hired by the school district in 1997 as an assistant principal and had been superintendent since 2008.

Lynnett Gorman, principal of Pugliese West Elementary School, and Seth Fluharty, an assistant wrestling coach and special education teacher, both charged with failing to report child abuse or neglect, a misdemeanor, were also placed on leave.

"The board has no information about the evidence leading to these charges," the news release says. "Our primary focus is on making sure the school district is able to conduct the business of educating our students."

Matthew Belardine, a former volunteer assistant football coach who was the fourth individual named in the indictments issued Monday, is not employed by the school district, the news release said. Mr. Belardine is charged with four misdemeanors, including providing alcohol to underage persons, obstructing official business, falsification and contributing to the delinquency of a child.



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