Mehno quits, BOE agrees to pay $60K
The Leetonia school board and suspended Superintendent Robert Mehno agreed Thursday to sever ties effective today, with the board agreeing to pay Mehno a lump sum of $60,000 within 14 days per the separation agreement.
“It is with a heavy heart I tender my resignation as superintendent of the Leetonia Exempted Village School District for personal reasons, effective Feb. 21, 2020. I would like to thank the students, board members, staff and community for a wonderful tenure during the past 11 years. Thank you and Go Bears!!,” Mehno said in his resignation letter.
A message was left for Mehno for comment about his departure, but the call was not returned. Board President Michael Henderson declined to make any comments Thursday at the regular board meeting.
The school board agreed unanimously to accept the resignation according to the terms and conditions of the agreement. There was no discussion.
Mehno, who had been superintendent of Leetonia Schools since August 2009, was placed on paid administrative leave Nov. 21 due to what Henderson said was a “concern” raised by an employee, which was being reviewed per board policy.
At the time, Leetonia Police Chief Allen Haueter confirmed three female school employees had filed complaints of sexual harassment against Mehno. The complaints centered on comments made during conversations and on text messages. The complaints were forwarded to the Columbiana County Prosecutor’s Office for review to see if any criminal charges were warranted. No charges were filed after the review, per the prosecutor’s office.
Mehno was in the third year of a five-year contract and had recently been one of the final candidates for the South Range Schools superintendent position beginning in 2019-2020. He was instrumental in developing the manufacturing program both at the school and county levels.
According to the agreement between Mehno and the board, “the board and its members shall not comment on the separation with Mr. Mehno, except as required by law.”
Per the agreement, the board and Mehno relinquish any and all claims they may have or could have asserted against each other, but Mehno’s rights under “Ohio Revised Code 2744 including but not limited to the board’s obligation under 2744.07 are preserved. Mr. Mehno does not waive any claims that he may have against individual employees of the board.”
Initially, High School Principal Troy Radinsky had been named acting superintendent when Mehno was placed on paid administrative leave, but then last month, the board hired Dr. Andy Tommelleo as interim superintendent through July 31 at a rate of $440 per day.