The Bowman County School Board suspended Superintendent Dave Mahon without pay this week, and they also started discharge proceedings.
Dan Peterson, the former school board president, said it’s a decision he doesn’t agree with.
“I can tell you I definitely would of voted against it”.
Peterson was removed as president last Monday, and resigned from the board entirely the next day.
“In this country you are innocent until proven guilty, and it feels like we were moving in the direction of guilty until proven innocent, ” said Peterson.
He said he would have advised the board to go in a different direction, unit Mahon had his day in court, and his legal issues became more clear.
“Lets put him on unpaid administrative leave, and we can still hire a consultant until things run their course”.
Current school board president, Kevin Bucholz, said the board members felt that Mahon’s conduct was unbecoming of a superintendent, and the charges against him would negatively impact his ability to supervise students and staff.
“It was just a unanimous vote to go in that direction,” said Bucholz.
Back in March Bowman County Sheriffs found marijuana and drug paraphernalia in Mahon’s home.
He has since been charged with four drug related charges; two of them are felony counts of child endangerment.
He has court date set for early May.
Some Bowman County students feel the board made the right decision
“If he can’t keep track of his own son, and his son’s friend that was living with them, how is going to pay attention to all the teachers and the kids,” said Remington Buchmann, Bowman County high school student.
Prior to these series of events Mahon had received a satisfactory evaluation report from the school board, and some students and parents said he was well liked.
Peterson thinks the boards most recent decision will have a negative impact on the district going forward.
“If I were looking at this job . . . If had to worry that if something ever went wrong with me as a superintendent, and I felt that due process didn’t run its course, I would be leery”.
Bucholz said the board is in the process of looking for an interim superintendent, and they would like to have one in place as soon as possible.