TUCSON, Ariz. — A law firm hired to investigate accusations of harassment
and discrimination against Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and Blind
Superintendent Robert Hill has cleared him of any major wrongdoing.
The findings are included in two reports obtained by the Arizona Daily Star
through a public records request.
The newspaper reported Saturday that Hill did not
engage in any unlawful activities when dealing with workers. However, one report
did question the way he communicated with employees and the way he handled
Hill was placed on administrative leave during a meeting of the governing board
on Oct. 24. Hill, who was unavailable for comment, will be able to respond to
the allegations at the board’s next meeting.
Parents, students and employees have criticized Hill for poor communication,
lack of leadership and the dismissals of former administrator Nancy Amann and
former agriculture teacher Richard Layton.
In May, the school’s governing board agreed to hire private investigators after
hearing from a raucous crowd of critics who had called for the resignations of
Hill and then-Board President Bernhardt Jones.
Hill and Jones are also under scrutiny from the state for a potential conflict
of interest regarding their involvement with an interpreter-training program and
for allegedly excessive travel expenses. Those matters are being investigated by
the state and are not covered by the two reports.
Amann had filed two grievances against Hill. Most of the disagreements between
the two stemmed from a series of incidents in which Hill questioned her
Hill put Amann on administrative leave in February after school officials
investigated an employee vehicle search that occurred a couple of months earlier
when a video gambling device was stolen from a dorm room.
When Amann’s contract expired in June, the board voted not to renew it.
The report concluded Hill had grounds for placing Amann on leave and no
discrimination was involved. However, investigators noted that Hill had not
created an evaluation system for Amann or other contract employees.
Hill could have addressed most of his concerns about Amann’s job performance in
an evaluation, but she hadn’t received one in a few years, according to the
Information from: Arizona Daily Star, http://www.azstarnet.com