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2 indicted school employees return to work

Updated: Wednesday, December 4 2013, 11:15 AM EST

By: NEWS9
STEUBENVILLE, Ohio --

Two Steubenville City Schools employees who were indicted by a special grand jury have been permitted to return to work.

The school board returned Lynnett Gorman and Seth Fluharty to their positions effective Dec. 9., according to a news release from the district.

On Wednesday, the Steubenville Board of Education released the following statement:

"After learning that three School District employees were indicted by a special grand jury convened by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, the Board of Education of Steubenville City Schools placed the indicted employees on administrative leave.   After review with legal counsel and Ohio professional organizations the Board returned Lynnett Gorman and Seth Fluharty to their positions as of December 9, 2013.  The two employees have good work records and are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The Board has no information about the evidence leading to these charges, and any questions about the charges or the criminal investigation should be directed to the office of the Ohio Attorney General.

Our primary focus is on making sure the School District is able to conduct the business of educating our students."

Superintendent Mike McVey Gorman and Fluharty were all put on paid administrative leave on Nov. 25 after Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced their indictments.

Gorman, principal of West Elementary School, is charged with failure to report child abuse or neglect while acting in official capacity in a school district, which is a fourth-degree misdemeanor.

Fluharty is charged with failure to report child abuse or neglect while acting in official capacity in a school district, which is a fourth-degree misdemeanor. He is a wrestling coach at Steubenville High School and elementary school teacher.

The panel of 14 jurors reviewed evidence and heard testimony as part of a state-level investigation into other possible crimes connected to the original case.  Since first meeting in April, they heard from 123 witnesses.

DeWine called for the special grand jury in March after two teens -- Trenton Mays and Ma'lik Richmond -- were convicted of raping another teen in Jefferson County.

A visiting judge found Mays and Richmond delinquent of raping a teenage girl in August 2012. Mays and Richmond were student-athletes at Steubenville High School at the time of the crimes.

Immediately after the two teens were sentenced, DeWine called for the grand jury to be an "investigative tool" to probe other claims and questions that have dogged the case, such as whether anyone else knew about the rape and failed to report it.

In total, the special grand jury indicted six people, with the other three being Matthew Belardine, William Rhinaman and Hannah Rhinaman.

Stay with NEWS9 and WTOV9.com for continuing coverage.

2 indicted school employees return to work


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