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updated: 5/6/2014 12:21 AM

Decision on Maine West coach's future delayed

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The Maine Township High School District 207 school board delayed taking final action Monday on firing a former Maine West soccer coach embroiled in a hazing scandal.

The school board was set to discuss in closed session Monday night a resolution ordering the dismissal for cause of former freshman soccer coach Emilio Rodriguez, but the board will vote on the resolution at its next meeting June 2, according to Dave Beery, the district's spokesman.

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"The board has asked the district's attorneys several legal questions regarding the hearing officer's decision, which found cause for and recommended Mr. Rodriguez's dismissal," Beery said in a statement released late Monday. "These legal questions will be addressed and the board will adopt the resolution affirming the dismissal at its next regular meeting on June 2, 2014."

The board met with attorney Todd Faulkner of Chicago law firm Franczek Radelet behind closed doors.

Rodriguez, hired as a full-time teacher in 2005, was formally dismissed by the school board in January 2013. A month later, he appealed his firing to an independent hearing officer -- a process that tenured teachers may request under state law.

In a 62-page report released last month, hearing officer Jules I. Crystal upheld Rodriguez's firing for not appropriately responding to allegations of hazing.

Crystal's report serves as a recommendation to the school board, which is tasked with taking final action on whether to fire or retain Rodriguez.

In the report, Crystal wrote that Rodriguez had a "deliberate indifference" to reports from some freshman soccer players that two teammates had been hazed by members of the varsity team during a campus run on Sept. 26, 2012.

Rodriguez, Crystal wrote, "knew, or should have taken steps to know, what had happened."

Former varsity soccer coach Michael Divincenzo was also fired in connection with the hazing scandal, but he later dropped his appeal to the dismissal.

Divincenzo was acquitted in January by a Cook County judge on criminal charges of hazing and misdemeanor battery.

A civil suit against both coaches, the school district, Maine West and the school's principal is pending in Cook County circuit court.

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