Tuesday, Oct 23, 2018
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Hickey to take seat on Washington Local board



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    Nine candidates answer questions during a League of Women Voters candidate forum for the Washington Local School Board in October at Calvary Bible Chapel in Toledo. From left: Irshad Bannister, Patricia Pedro Carmean, Melanie Garcia, Patrick Hickey, Mark Hughes, Thomas Ilstrup, Eric Kiser, Brad McDonald and Cindy Perry.

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Unofficial election results Tuesday indicated Patrick Hickey, the former Washington Local Schools superintendent who is banned from school property, will get a seat on the Washington Local Schools Board of Education.

RELATED: Complete local election results

With 100 percent of all Washington Local precincts reporting, Mr. Hickey was in second place of nine candidates vying for three open seats. About 15 percent of votes reported went to Mark Hughes, while Mr. Hickey and former board member Tom Ilstrup nearly tied at 12.48 percent and 12.45 percent respectively. 

None of the three top candidates returned a call seeking comment late Tuesday night.

Mr. Hickey’s candidacy has been a dramatic one, with a vocal group of supporters standing loyally by him as questions into his professional conduct at several school districts swirled.

He resigned as superintendent of Washington Local Schools in December, 2015, shortly before school board officials could consider a resolution to fire him because of 37 charges compiled by a law firm hired to investigate the former superintendent’s behavior on behalf of the board. Those charges included allegations that he failed to inform the district that he had left Addison Community Schools in Addison, Mich., in 1990 after accusations surfaced that he had inappropriate relationships with students.

A 2016 Michigan State Police report details conversations investigators had with a woman who said she had sex with Mr. Hickey when she was 14 and he was her coach and teacher at Addison High School more than two decades ago.

The Lenawee County Prosecutor’s Office declined to press charges because the woman requested that they not, and because it was reported outside the statute of limitations, a police report said.

Incumbent Patricia Carmean was the only school board candidate at the Early Vote Center in Toledo. She left with about 78 percent of the precincts reported and declined comment until all votes were tallied.

All three incumbents running for Toledo Public Schools’ board kept their seats, with 100 percent of precincts reporting just after midnight. Bob Vasquez received 30 percent of the vote, Polly Taylor-Gerken received 26.5 percent, and about 23 percent voted for Chris Varwig.

The lone challenger Ruth Leonard garnered 20 percent of the vote.

Sylvania Schools will see one new face on the board. Shannon Szyperski, a longtime Sylvania resident and district parent organization president with three children in the district, joins incumbents Julie Hoffman and Stephen Rothschild. All votes were in.

Incumbents Stephanie Piechowiak and Janet Wolff will retain their seats on Maumee City Schools’ board with 100 percent of votes tallied there as well. Challenger Jennifer Campos also won a seat.

Perrysburg’s school board retained all three incumbents, with Sue Larimer and Gretchen Downs each taking 26 percent and Eric Bennington garnering 22 percent of the vote.

Contact Sarah Elms at selms@theblade.com419-724-6103, or on Twitter @BySarahElms.

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