Report: BEA officials go by the book

Local News

Blue Earth Area Schools administrators followed proper procedure when disciplining four students charged in the alleged assault of a football teammate last October in Winnebago.

That’s the opinion of Michelle Soldo of Soldo Consulting, P.C., who was hired in February to do an independent investigation.

In a letter to Superintendent Evan Gough, Soldo says district officials with the advice of legal counsel conducted timely and thorough preliminary and expanded investigations for more than a month.

“Speculation, conjecture and uninformed allegations that district actions were not prompt and appropriate are refuted by the record,” she wrote.

School Board chairman Jesse Haugh says a 10-day suspension given to each student and not allowing them to compete in sports or extracurricular activities were part of the review.

“I have a lot of faith in Rich (Schneider) and Evan (Gough) that we went through the proper process,” says Haugh. “But, it’s good to have a third party look at it.”

Soldo says a “confidential memorandum” provided to district officials contains private education data, private personnel data and confidential investigative data that cannot be released.

Although pleased with the result, two board members want a little more information.

Jeremy Coxworth says he wants to know how much the district had to pay Soldo for the report.

Soldo Consulting was hired at an hourly rate of $145, plus mileage, lodging costs if necessary and any postage or copying costs.

Amber Patten asked Gough if he knew how many people were interviewed during the investigation.

“I would really like to have the information,” says Patten. “Can we follow up on that?”

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