2 school board members want Mohip to quit


By Amanda Tonoli

atonoli@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Youngstown Board of Education members voiced discontent Tuesday with CEO Krish Mohip, in light of an Ohio Department of Education investigation. Two want him to quit.

The Vindicator reported Thursday that the ODE is investigating Mohip. Brian Benyo, the former chairman of the Youngstown City Schools Academic Distress Commission, made allegations of “inappropriate conduct with a female attorney and/or job applicant,” according to ODE records.

Board member Corrine Sanderson requested during Tuesday’s school board meeting that Mohip resign.

Sanderson wrote to Mohip: “This email is concerning the recent accusations that were made against you on behalf of two women, one applying for a position and the second female is contracted with the school district. I found the new investigation by ODE very disturbing and I’m concerned about the integrity and liability of the school district.

“The ‘Me Too’ Movement has shed a light on an ongoing problem in the workplace. Despite the validity of the allegations, your reputation has been stained. I’m asking for you to consider the future of our young people and your family by immediately surrendering your letter of resignation to the Academic Distress Commission.

“I wish you well with your future endeavors and a speedy reunification with your family,” Sanderson concluded.

A school district spokeswoman said there would be no comment at this time about Sanderson’s request.

Mohip was put in place by House Bill 70, commonly referred to as the Youngstown Plan, which was signed into law by Gov. John Kasich in July 2015. It enabled a state-appointed distress commission to hire a CEO to lead the district. The bill gives Mohip complete operational, managerial and instructional control.

School board member Dario Hunter, who was absent during the meeting, commented to The Vindicator later that he also thinks Mohip should resign.

“I think he should resign not primarily because of the numerous ethical allegations but because his academic track record has been abysmal. He’s spending the district into ruin, and he’s made it clear he doesn’t want to be here,” he said. “At this point he’s just going through the motions – for a tidy six-figure sum.”

Mohip was recently a candidate in four superintendent searches. He was either not selected or withdrew his application in all four cases.

Hunter issued a news release last week, in which he discussed the ODE investigation.

School board member Jackie Adair said during Tuesday’s meeting that she wants to know who is paying for the ODE investigation, conducted by Baker and Hostetler, a firm employed by Youngstown City Schools. It is not known if the investigation has concluded.

“We should not pay for an investigation into allegations of Mohip’s improper personal dealings with an attorney,” she said. “They are his personal legal issues.”

Schools Treasurer Sherry Tyson told Adair she is unaware of what business the bills from Baker and Hostetler entail, saying that they are merely passed onto the CEO.

“How and where are the checks and balances then?” Adair asked.

Mike Murphy, board vice president, responded: “There aren’t any.”

“He shouldn’t be able to be chief, cook and bottle washer,” Adair said.

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