School district refuses to release deposition transcripts - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

FOX19 Investigates: School district's refusal to release deposition transcripts

Former teacher, Amanda Kitcho Former teacher, Amanda Kitcho
KINGS MILLS, OH (FOX19) -

Leaders of the Kings Local School District announced after an hour-long meeting in executive session tonight that they are still not releasing transcripts of depositions from an investigation into abuse allegations a former teacher's aide leveled against former special needs teacher Amanda Kitcho.

The decision was announced by Dr. Valerie Browning, the superintendent. She cited attorney-client privilege and the potential some children could be identified even if their names were blacked-out as reasons for withholding the documents.

Browning also defended the district keeping Kitcho on the payroll for the remainder of last school year even though she was suspended in January 2012.

"The cost of defending a termination lawsuit can far exceed the cost of paying the employee to leave," said Dr. Browning, pointing out that if the district lost it would've had to have paid for Kitcho's attorney as well as back pay.

Kim Grant, who filed a lawsuit against the district as a member of the taxpayer rights group COAST, said tonight she was disappointed the board chose not to release the transcripts, a central part of her lawsuit.

She said after recently speaking with the school district's attorney, her attorney felt the district would settle the suit and give her the transcripts. Tonight, it appears the lawsuit will continue to proceed at the Ohio Supreme Court. A decision isn't expected for months.

FOX19 has also requested the district release the transcripts to our news organization under the Ohio Public Records Act. The district has turned over many documents (see our story from earlier today about the allegations against Kitcho contained in the documents) but has not yet formally responded to that part of our request.

During the public comment period of tonight's school board meeting, Grant called on the superintendent to resign.

"We'll, I just felt that this whole process was handled wrong," Grant told FOX19 later.

Kitcho's attorney did not respond today to FOX19's request for comment.

Copyright 2013 WXIX. All rights reserved.

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