Archive for Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Judge OKs Tonganoxie superintendent’s return to campus during court proceedings

No move yet from board to lift paid-leave suspension

Linn County Judicial Building is the site of Tonganoxie USD 464 Supt. Chris Kleidosty's first appearance. Kleidosty gave a plea of not guilty to failure to report sex abuse at his former school district of Prairie View.

Linn County Judicial Building is the site of Tonganoxie USD 464 Supt. Chris Kleidosty's first appearance. Kleidosty gave a plea of not guilty to failure to report sex abuse at his former school district of Prairie View.

May 23, 2017

— The Tonganoxie school district superintendent can return to work under certain court stipulations as his court proceedings continue, a Linn County District Court judge determined Tuesday.

Judge Terri L. Johnson granted a bond modification request from Alan Fogleman for his client, Tonganoxie Supt. Chris Kleidosty.

Fogleman also requested a motion for dismissal of the case.

The superintendent was arrested in February on two counts of allegedly failing to report sex abuse cases at Prairie View. Tim Weis, the high school principal there, also was arrested on those counts. They stem from a PVHS teacher who submitted his resignation near the end of the 2015-16 school year and then was arrested on the last day of school later that month.

Krell faces 20 felony counts — two cases with 10 counts each —of unlawful relations with a student 16 or older.

Kleidosty gave a not guilty plea during his first court appearance. He has contended in previous interviews with the media that he cooperated with the Linn County Sheriff’s Office during its investigation.

Under his bond stipulation initially was not to have any contact with anyone 18 or younger or to be on any accredited Kansas school campuses.

Judge Valorie LeBlanc later made an exception allowing Kleidosty to attend his children’s school functions.

Tuesday, Johnson amended the bond stipulation, but limited it to Tonganoxie school district property.

Kleidosty currently is on administrative leave with pay. Fogleman argued that every day Kleidosty is not working is “one day closer to him being fired for cause.”

Linn County Attorney James Brun argued that there still was potential for contact with students during the summer, as there are sports camps, summer weightlifting and other activities. Kleidosty mentioned driver’s education and possible interaction also.

Johnson made the stipulation that if any cases of mandatory reporting were to occur, Interim Supt. Tonya Phillips would handle them, per Brun’s urging.

Fogleman asked that Kleidosty be allowed on other school district property under certain circumstances, such as a summer budget workshop at Washburn Rural.

But Johnson limited the amended bond modification to Tonganoxie campuses.

“I think you won today,” Johnson said about the bond modification. “Fair enough?”

Even with the latest court modification, Kleidosty still is under administrative leave. The school board would need to approve his return to the district.

Phillips said Tuesday night that no special meeting had been set yet to discuss Kleidosty’s status.

The board’s next regular meeting is June 12. During a special meeting earlier this month, the board voted to rescind a contract extension it previously made. Kleidosty was hired roughly a year ago to a two-year contract. The board approved a third year months later. Board Member Phillip Welsh cast the lone vote to not rescind that third year during the special meeting.

Kleidosty’s annual salary is $132,000.

Johnson set the next court appearance for 9 a.m. July 13. She is allowing three hours for any possible testimony that morning.

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