Hiring investigator a waste of money?

Local News

Paying for a report to regain the public’s trust may not have been necessary after all.

Results of an investigation conducted by a Woodbury firm to determine whether disciplinary action taken against four Blue Earth Area High School students charged in an alleged assault was proper are expected soon.

In February, School Board members hired Soldo Consulting, P.C., to conduct an independent review.

At the time, board member Sheila Ripley wondered why a review was needed and if it was being done only to please a few who have been critical of administrators.

Craig Perry, associate director of the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL), says school officials have the power under the league’s bylaws to decide if a student is in “good standing” and may participate in a MSHSL program.

“Eligibility decisions do not have to be based on the outcome of charges through the legal system,” says Perry. “Administration determines if a student does not meet all eligibility requirements and conditions of the school as well as the state high school league.”

The students were each given a 10-day suspension and have not been allowed to compete in sports or extracurricular activities.

Three of the students were returning letterman on the wrestling team, while another moved to Des Moines and played on a school’s varsity basketball team.

Soldo Consulting is being paid an hourly rate of $145, plus mileage, lodging costs if necessary and any postage or copying costs.

At last month’s board meeting, chairman Jesse Haugh said Soldo Consulting will likely have its report completed by the April meeting.

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