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updated: 2/21/2014 9:25 AM

Residents call for Dist. 54 chief's firing after DUI charge

District 54 board responds to calls for superintendent's firing

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  • Andy DuRoss

      Andy DuRoss

 
 

Two residents of Schaumburg Township Elementary District 54 called for the resignation or firing of Superintendent Andy DuRoss at Thursday's school board meeting, in the wake of DUI charges filed against him Feb. 1.

But board members asked for the public's patience with the justice system, as well as time for their own resolution of the matter.

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"We were disappointed and upset when Mr. DuRoss notified us of these charges," board President Bill Harper said in a statement he had prepared.

Naperville police charged DuRoss with two counts of DUI while he was driving home from a restaurant early Feb. 1. An officer had reportedly first encountered DuRoss minutes earlier while responding to a call of an intoxicated person at the restaurant, advising him to take a cab home and not drive.

Court records show DuRoss had a blood-alcohol concentration measured at 0.117 percent -- over the legal threshold of 0.08 percent.

The Schaumburg residents who spoke Thursday reacted to DuRoss' initial public comment that he had "made a mistake" and that was "not who I am or representative of my character as a person or educator."

"I don't think it was a mistake, according to what I read," Robi Vollkommer said. "You were asked by an officer not to get in your car that evening and not drive."

Vollkommer said she considered DuRoss lucky, having herself lost a sibling killed by a repeat drunken driver.

"I try to put myself in other people's shoes," Vollkommer said. "If I were in your shoes, I would step down."

Fellow resident Craig Bowers expanded on Vollkommer's comments.

"While I agree with (DuRoss') assertion that he made a mistake, his mistake was being arrogant and prideful in thinking he could thumb his nose at the Naperville police and proceed to put the lives of countless innocent people in jeopardy," he said.

Bowers also felt Harper's initial response -- that this incident didn't define DuRoss -- was too casual.

"While it is the responsibility of the board to decide his fate, I am one parent and citizen that believes his tenure at District 54 should end, sooner rather than later," Bowers said. "Whether Mr. DuRoss likes it or not, school superintendents are held to a higher standard regarding their personal conduct."

DuRoss didn't personally comment on the charges during Thursday's meeting. His next court date is March 4.

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