Richland School Board to finish Busey investigation

By Ty Beaver, Tri-City HeraldJanuary 19, 2013 

The Richland School Board will wrap up its investigation of Superintendent Jim Busey and make a decision about his future with the district early next week.

"I expect the investigation to be done by Tuesday," said school board Chairman Rick Jansons.

Jansons told the Herald the board met in a closed-door session Friday to discuss the investigation, but no decision was made. However, he anticipated another closed-door meeting Tuesday to review the findings from the investigation before board members made a decision.

Busey, who is on paid leave, said Friday he's had no communication with the board, but that he met with its investigator Friday and would meet with him again Monday.

Busey said he will release information connected to the district and about his role as superintendent early Wednesday morning but would not elaborate.

"The board wants to be transparent. I'm going to be transparent," he said.

Busey was placed on paid administrative leave Dec. 10 while district officials investigate his relationship with an employee at one of Richland's elementary schools. The board has appointed Rich Puryear, director of financial services, as acting superintendent.

Jansons has declined to discuss the investigation but Busey maintains he's done nothing wrong.

Busey claims the district already investigated the relationship in November and found there were no issues. He said it only became a problem when the district's investigation became public. Jansons has denied that the board or its investigators ever finished the investigation.

Busey also said the board wanted him to sign papers for his resignation by Dec. 31 but he refused.

He added that he intends to finish out his contract, which expires in 2015, and would not take less. He earns $160,730 a year, according to a March 2012 addendum to his contract.

Jansons has said the board hasn't offered Busey a buyout and has not contemplated offering him one.

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