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Hickey target of protection order

Washington Local School board member reports ‘stalking, harassing’

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    Hickey

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    Carmean

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Washington Local School board member Patricia Carmean was granted an ex parte — or temporary — civil protection order against former Superintendent Patrick Hickey Thursday, a week after he announced his candidacy for school board.

Such an order may be granted when a court finds that “an immediate or present danger of abuse” exists.

It’s the latest chapter in the seemingly never-ending saga in Washington Local starring Mr. Hickey, who resigned from the district after two internal investigations into his conduct, and who is banned from district property. Now, Mr. Hickey and Ms. Carmean are set to square off in the November school board election, and their dispute again involves calls to police.

Ms. Carmean says she filed for the civil protection order after Mr. Hickey repeatedly messaged her on Facebook, starting on Sunday, discussing the upcoming election, and also threatening to release information regarding the spending habits of Ms. Carmean’s late husband, Michael Carmean, a former superintendent of the district, who died in 2009.

She says that after consulting with an attorney, she responded back to his messages, asking that he not contact her anymore, and also filed a police report. He continued to message her, so she filed another police report and for the civil protection order on Thursday.

Ms. Carmean said she received a final message from Mr. Hickey after she filed the request for the protection order, in which he said he would not contact her again.

“He’s stalking me. He’s harassing me. He’s intimidating me,” she said.

Mr. Hickey did not respond to a voice mail, email, and Facebook message Thursday requesting comment.

This is not the first time the pair have tangled. In November, 2015, Ms. Carmean filed a harassment complaint against Mr. Hickey, after he allegedly sent her a text saying she had “crossed the line.” He also sent an email to the entire district staff, in which he criticized her and asked staff to contact board members on his behalf.

No charges were filed. At the time, Mr. Hickey claimed Ms. Carmean was stalking him.

The dispute came during a period of turmoil in the district, after an informal complaint by a staff member who said Mr. Hickey sent her repeated unwanted communications after an alleged relationship between the two ended.

He was kept off district property during the investigation, and his supporters crammed board meetings. Ultimately, he was issued a letter of reprimand.

In December, 2015, Mr. Hickey resigned from the district after he was placed on leave again amid a second investigation, which was prompted by video surveillance that showed him repeatedly walking by the classroom door of the teacher that filed the initial complaint, stopping, and taking a picture with his cell phone after school hours.

In February, Mr. Hickey was banned from district property and sporting events after the board said he had an “unacceptable” interaction with district administrators at a Whitmer High School basketball game.

Mr. Hickey publicly announced on Facebook April 13 what many already expected: He will run for school board in November. He said he wants the auditor of state to audit the district before its next levy is placed on the ballot, wants a nepotism policy, and the end of using out-of-town law firms, among other platforms.

He also is clear that the race is personal because of the circumstances surrounding his departure from the district. He said he wants to see his daughter attend district events, like he did with his sons.

“This board has denied this dad this opportunity as a punitive and jealous edict,” he wrote. “Shame on them.”

Ms. Carmean, Eric Kiser, and James Langenderfer’s school board seats are up for election this year.

Magistrate Gretchen Weston granted the temporary civil protection order after a hearing in Lucas County Common Pleas Court. She scheduled a full hearing on the matter for 3 p.m. May 3.

Contact Nolan Rosenkrans at: nrosenkrans@theblade.com or 419-724-6086, or on Twitter @NolanRosenkrans.

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