Former superintendent running for Board of Education raising some questions
TOLEDO, OH (WNWO) - A public forum was held tonight hosting the 9 candidates running for the Washington Local Schools' Board of Education. But one candidate in particular has some voters concerned. He's a very recognizable face. In fact, Patrick Hickey even used to work as the school district's superintendent and assistant superintendent, but he resigned back in 2015 amidst controversy.
A polarizing candidate, Hickey undeniably has a lot of experience.
"What I do bring is 30 years of educational experience including 15 here as superintendent and assistant superintendent," said Patrick Hickey.
But in 2015 he resigned admist controversey. September of that year, Hickey received a letter of reprimand for unspecified misconduct. He allegedly violated the terms of the reprimand, and the school board offered him over $200,000 to step aside.
He was then banned from school grounds that following February following a conflict with a referee at a basketball game.
"Washington Local community is a very smart community," explained Hickey. "So if there are people who think that that divide can't be lessened, then they won't vote for me. But I believe strongly that we can help the district resurrect itself. Be back to the best school district in the state of Ohio, and I will work tirelessly to do that."
But it still has some voters concerned. One woman did not want to go on camera, but said she wasn't sure how he was allowed to run when he's not even allowed on school property.
However, other voters say the charges were over-hyped in the first place for political reasons, and that Hickey is the best qualified candidate for Washington Local's future.
"This whole thing's garbage," shared Ronald Williams II, a Washington Local School District resident for 11 years. "I just think he was dragged through the mud. I think that even today, they brought up stuff from way back, that why didn't they bring up when he was superintendent."
"I actually didn't follow it a lot when it was going on, because social media was all over the place. So I listened to what he had to say tonight. I definitely think he is qualified," said Chris Riley, a life long resident of Washington Local School District.