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Superintendent placed on paid leave amid investigation

May 13, 2021 GMT

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — West Valley School District Superintendent Michael Brophy has been placed on paid administrative leave pending “an investigation into allegations of policy violations.”

The decision was effective as of Friday and was announced Wednesday in an email from school board President Mark Strong, the Yakima Herald-Republic reported.

Strong said the ongoing investigation into “a confidential personnel matter” prevented the district from providing additional comment, and directed questions to the district’s lawyer.

Brophy’s blog which provides district updates has been taken down and his emails are going to Assistant Superintendent Peter Finch. Finch is the acting superintendent during the investigation, Strong said.

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Brophy referred all questions Wednesday to his lawyer, William D. Pickett of Yakima.

Pickett said he was getting up to speed on the case and that Brophy was waiting for the district to respond to a request for a medical leave of absence, in a “somewhat separate but related issue.” He said he couldn’t comment more about the investigation until he had more details.

In January, the West Valley Education Association gave Brophy’s leadership a no-confidence vote. Association President Heidi Mochel said the vote meant “our association no longer trusts, believe in, or will invest in building a working relationship with Dr. Brophy,” according to minutes from the Jan. 26 meeting.

In a following special board meeting, Strong responded to the vote, expressing the board’s “full support” in Brophy, according to meeting minutes.