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WLS unable to decide on Hickey replacement, judge now with final say

Board President Thomas Ilstrup says the decision will now come down to the Lucas County Probate Judge (WNWO).

The Washington Local Schools Board of Education voted on the replacement of Patrick Hickey during a special meeting Monday night, but were unable to reach an agreement.

"It's certainly not the result I had hoped for. I had hoped for a consensus on a single individual, and that was not to be," said Board President Thomas Ilstrup.

With Hickey resigning on March 20th while facing criminal sexual misconduct charges in Lenawee County, the board interviewed nine people in hopes of filling the empty seat.

With two votes in favor of Irshad Bannister and two votes in favor of Chris Sharp, the decision will now be in the hands of Lucas County Probate Judge, Jack Puffenberger.

He will be able to pick from more than just the candidates the board spoke with.

"Any qualified elector in Washington Local, and it doesn't have to be anyone that we have chosen," said Ilstrup.

One candidate that was interviewed by the school board was Joshua Mudse. He is excited to still be in the running.

"If people thought that Patrick Hickey was the only problem, in this district, this is pretty clear evidence that the board has also been conflicted. In conflict, it's really hard to lead. I think I can add some of that leadership experience to help with stability on the board, which will translate to the superintendent, the staff and always the kids."

The judge will have until April 19th to make a decision, exactly 30 days after Hickey's resignation.

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