CUYAHOGA HEIGHTS, OH (WOIO) - Cuyahoga Heights school superintendent Tom Evans was reinstated Tuesday night after a 12-week paid administrative leave.
The board called for Tuesday's special meeting on Monday. There was an entry on the agenda that called for a motion to "issue a pre-disciplinary/pre-termination letter to Superintendent Tom Evans."
We obtained a copy of the investigation into Evans. It alleged that Evans violated board policy and did not keep the board informed and work constructively with the board. It also alleged that Evans did not handle a public records request properly and did not appropriately discipline an employee. The investigation recommended a 10 day suspension.
Before the meeting started, dozens of parents packed into the high school auditorium, held up signs supporting Evans and chanted "we want Evans!"
Once the meeting was called to order, board member Lyndie Schuckert and board president Cleveland Clinic Dr. Holly Thacker almost immediately clashed over whether or not a special item should be added to the agenda to vote on whether or not the board should vote on if Evans should come back to school.
Thacker was then out voted multiple times as she tried to take the board into executive session.
She also attempted to adjourn the meeting, but the motion didn't received support from fellow board members and was met with yelling from the crowd.
At the end of the meeting, the board voted five to zero to reinstate Evans. Thacker voted for Evans' reinstatement,
Thacker immediately left the building. Evans came in, and was surrounded by cheering people and hugged multiple times as he tried to walk to the front of the auditorium.
He spoke to Cleveland 19 about the experience.
"I'm overwhelmed with the support I've had and it's impossible for me to thank all these people for being so supportive right from the get go and it's a testament to this community it's a testament to who these people are," Evans said. "I'm at a loss for words I can't begin to thank this community for the way they've supported me."
He described the moment he heard that he was reinstated.
"Just relief, just relief through my body that just scrambled around in my head. The first thing I'm gonna do tomorrow, actually the first thing that came in my head is I'm going to need to get my keys back so I can get back in the building tomorrow morning at 6 am and get back at it," said Evans.
He had this to say when Cleveland 19 asked if he thought he could work well with the board moving forward.
"I'm confident that I can. You know I wake up everyday and try to do the best I can for this district, for the people in this district and I will do that," said Evans.
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