Investigator: Board Didn’t Deliberately Hinder Probe Of Principal
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LAKE FOREST, Ill. (CBS) — Did school administrators in Lake Forest botch a sexual harassment investigation of a principal?
As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, a former federal prosecutor says they didn’t do so intentionally.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports
Former federal prosecutor Ronald Safer was hired by Lake Forest School District 67 to review the district’s handling of sexual harassment allegations against John Steinert, the now-former principal of Deer Path Middle School.
Steinert had sent lewd text messages and an inappropriate picture of himself to a 22-year-old college student whom he’d met when she was an intern in 2009.
The Chicago Tribune says Safer reported to the school district board last night that the board’s official investigation a couple of years ago consisted only of interviewing Steinert and trying to get a police report of the complaint.
Safer says inexperience in conducting investigations was the reason the district handled the matter poorly, the Tribune reported.
Steinert pleaded guilty a misdemeanor in 2009, admitting that he harassed a 22-year-old female college student who had been an intern with the Lake Forest Police Department. At the time, the school district only reprimanded Steinert and temporarily froze his pay, but the case was reopened when the Chicago Tribune learned of information that was redacted in the original police report on the incident.
The uncensored police report said Steinert used his school-issued cell phone to send her a picture of his penis, and leave voice mails and texts that suggested sex acts he wanted to perform with her, according to reports late last year.
Steinert resigned in November, but some parents said that wasn’t not enough. On Monday, angry parents at a community meeting demanded to know why School District 67 Supt. Harry Griffith and other school board members failed to follow up with police after Steinert’s guilty plea in 2009.