Multiple women file complaints about Dist. 62 superintendent

Multiple women working in Des Plaines Elementary District 62 have filed complaints about the conduct of Superintendent Floyd Williams Jr., who could be fired as soon as Wednesday by the school board, the Daily Herald has learned.

The board has refused to comment about the reasons for a proposed separation agreement that members are expected to consider during a special meeting Wednesday night. The agreement has not been released.

Williams, who is less than halfway through a three-year contract with a $198,000 annual salary, has been absent from the district since Oct 17. He officially went on paid leave on Oct. 31, a day after the first of two closed-door school board meetings regarding his employment status. The third special meeting Wednesday will be the first to include a potential separation agreement.

Separate from the most recent complaints, documents obtained through a public records request show employees complained about Williams' conduct within months of his joining the district in July 2016. School board Vice President James Poskozim met with Williams about anonymous complaints made to district compliance officers, according to the document.

“I initiated this conversation because the board president and I believed this was the best way to comply with district policy,” Poskozim wrote in the letter to Williams dated Jan. 3. “I appreciate the professionalism you demonstrated during the conversation.”

The public records response said a second document regarding complaints exists, but the district declined to release it because it was not finalized.

It's not the first time Williams has faced allegations of misconduct.

Just weeks after Williams started his new job in July 2016, the Daily Herald reported that he faced dismissal from his last job at a Kenosha, Wisconsin, school district after his boss alleged he had nude images of women on his work computer and took photos of a staff member that made her feel uncomfortable, according to documents obtained under Wisconsin's Open Records Law.

Williams, then assistant superintendent for elementary school leadership in the Kenosha Unified School District, also was accused of making inappropriate comments to his assistant and directing her to perform personal tasks for him and his family, the documents state.

Kenosha Superintendent Sue Savaglio-Jarvis recommended his termination, but Williams resigned. The following weekend, he interviewed for the job in Des Plaines.

District 62 school board members said last year they were aware of Williams' situation in Kenosha and, after a thorough vetting, were comfortable hiring him.

In an interview Tuesday, board member Tina Garrett declined to detail the reasons for drafting a separation agreement with Williams in light of the board's closed-door process to discuss personnel. But she expressed frustration that she couldn't say more.

“I'm sure there's reasoning for it, but it puts everyone in a bad position,” said Garrett, who was appointed in May to fill a board vacancy.

Through a district spokeswoman, school board President Stephanie Duckmann said Tuesday the school board wouldn't comment in advance of the meeting. The other board members on Tuesday didn't respond to requests for comment. A reporter went to Williams' home seeking comment Tuesday night, but the house was dark and no one answered the door.

In September, Williams was one of 21 superintendents recognized by the National School Public Relations Association as a “Superintendent to Watch for 2017-2018.” The program recognizes educators who have demonstrated dynamic leadership with an emphasis on communication and technology in innovative and effective ways.

The school board meeting is at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Forest Elementary School, 1375 Fifth Ave.

•Daily Herald staff writer Eric Peterson contributed to this report.

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