OVID-ELSIE, Mich. (WLNS) – On the heels of Ovid-Elsie Superintendent Ryan Cunningham announcing his retirement, the athletic director and operations director both resigned.
While at the same time, district officials are facing scrutiny from community members on how the district handled a fuel use investigation.
Tuesday’s meeting was filled with frustrated parents, upset over how the fuel usage investigation was handled, and an unclear future for leadership in athletics.
Several parents said they want to see a new investigation, this time from law enforcement.
“I personally don’t believe that the School Board, even though I was a member of the School Board, has the authority or the right to make a determination on whether or not criminal activity occurred. And whether if it should be investigated or prosecuted,” said former Board member Steven Sopocy.
Parents packed the Ovid-Elsie special Board of Education meeting to find out how the district would manage the retirement of Superintendent Cunningham.
Several parents told 6 News the Board voted to release the findings of a third-party investigation into allegations the superintendent used district fuel for his own car.
They said Board officials called it a “previous practice”.
In a statement, Cunningham said his retirement was planned and that he was cleared of any wrongdoing. Board President Eric Jones said in a statement that Cunningham’s retirement had no connection to the investigation.
The Board voted and approved Assistant Superintendent Randy Barton to serve as interim superintendent.
Yet Sopocy said someone outside the district should step in.
“If you were the assistant superintendent and now things start to fall apart and the truth comes out… there are some tough decisions that have to be made. Those are your friends and former colleagues that you’ll have to make those decisions about,” he said.
The district is also facing the loss of Athletic Director Jesse johnson. He said in an online post that he made the decision due to “life situations”
Director of Operations, Craig Coleman’s resignation was also approved by the Board. Some community members have questions overall and hope to see transparency moving forward.
Superintendent Cunningham will retire at the end of the month. Both the athletic and operations directors will wrap up their time this month as well
Board officials haven’t given any indication of who their replacements might be.