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updated: 3/7/2014 2:15 PM

Dist. 54 reprimands DuRoss, will renegotiate contract

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  • Andy DuRoss

      Andy DuRoss

 
 

Schaumburg Township Elementary District 54 board members Thursday issued a letter of reprimand to Superintendent Andy DuRoss and called for his five-year contract to be renegotiated two days after he pleaded guilty to a charge of reckless driving.

DuRoss originally was charged with two counts of DUI when he was pulled over early Feb. 1 by a Naperville police officer who'd first confronted DuRoss while responding to a call of an intoxicated subject at a downtown restaurant there. He was sentenced to a year of court supervision.

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"The entirety of what occurred on that evening evidences poor decision making that calls into question your ability to lead this District effectively," the letter reads. "We expect that in the future, no similar incidents will occur or your employment can be terminated immediately."

The letter also recounted the basic facts of DuRoss' charges and stated that his actions reflected on the district, board, community, and its students and families even though it occurred after hours and off school property.

"We did take it very seriously," board President Bill Harper said after the letter was read. "We obviously don't condone this form of behavior. We want to get back to working on education."

The renegotiation of DuRoss' contract will take place during the next few weeks, Harper said. DuRoss' base salary for this first year as superintendent is $195,000.

Harper had earlier said DuRoss informed the board immediately after the charges.

Two members of the public addressed the board Thursday with very different opinions about how its members should respond to DuRoss' conviction.

Michael Victor of Schaumburg suggested that the board should hire an employment attorney to objectively investigate DuRoss' actions. Victor said he believed the board members who'd first appointed DuRoss as superintendent last year weren't objective enough to look at the matter with fresh eyes.

But after the board voted on its disciplinary action after a lengthy closed session, Victor said he was satisfied.

"I commend the board," he said. "I think that's appropriate."

Jim Lechuga, a fellow Schaumburg resident, said that based on the two meetings he'd previously had with DuRoss, the superintendent's contributions to the district shouldn't be thrown away for one example of poor judgment.

"I think he's a fine superintendent," Lechuga said. "Personally, I'm offended that there are people wanting to take his job, to take his career away."

Lechuga also felt DuRoss did what some others might not have in accepting responsibility for his actions to the board and to the public and pleading guilty in court.

"I hope the board will take that into account and not have a knee-jerk reaction," Lechuga said.

When a police officer first spoke with DuRoss at the Naperville restaurant Feb. 1, he advised him to take a cab home elsewhere in the city and not drive.

The officer reportedly pulled DuRoss over after seeing him driving minutes later. DuRoss' blood-alcohol concentration was measured at 0.117 percent -- over the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

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