Niles school administrator denies on-the-clock affair with co-worker

By: NewsCenter 16 Email
By: NewsCenter 16 Email

Niles Community Schools placed administrator Amy Scott on paid suspension in early May, to allow Michigan's Teacher Tenure Commission to investigate the complaints against her.

Scott was the district's director of curriculum and instruction.

The district was unable to release the nature of the charges against her, but a FOIA request by NewsCenter 16 has shed some light on the situation.

In a letter to the Niles Board of Education, Interim Superintendent Dr. Michael Lindley explained his reasons for requesting Scott's dismissal.

The letter reveals that Scott admitted to "engaging in an intimate personal relationship with a male coworker," occasionally during work hours.

The relationship purportedly took place over several years.

Lindley made the case that Scott's relationship was known among employees, and that her ability to "perform the duties of her position" was compromised.

Complicating the matter even further, Scott's husband is also a teacher in the district.

In mid-February, Scott was asked not to interfere with the investigation, but it was determined that she and the male co-worker repeatedly communicated in order to "get their story straight." The male co-worker also admitted that he and Scott deleted texts, photos, and videos that would have implicated them.

The interim superintendent ends his letter by stating: "Ms. Scott's conduct was unprofessional and inappropriate and she cannot serve as a positive role model. Her conduct has been disruptive to the operation of the school. Ms. Scott's conduct has impaired her effectiveness as a teacher and administrator and her ability to work with others."

Amy Scott's suspension was the third time in four months that Niles schools have run into problems with staff members in particular.

A teacher, Adam Zmudzinski, was pulled off the job in February following accusations that he drank alcohol at work, and other issues.

Then former Superintendent Richard Weigel stepped down in March because of disagreements with the school board.

Michael Lindley is taking over as interim superintendent while the district finds a permanent replacement for Weigel, so he has had a lot on his plate during his first month on the job.

Wruble and Associates, Scott's lawyers, issued this statement Thursday: "Ms. Scott disagrees with the decision of Niles Community Schools to disclose information in the charges that relate to her personal life. Ms. Scott has denied under oath that any of the allegations occurred on school property or during school time. She has similarly denied that she impeded an investigation in any way.

Ms. Scott initially volunteered information to Niles Community Schools during an investigation of an unrelated matter. Instead of assisting her, the School System subjected her to repeated interviews, attempting to get her to admit allegations that were not true. She was placed on non-disciplinary paid leave without any paperwork or evidence.

In response to disparate treatment she received, Ms. Scott filed charges with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. After Ms. Scott did so, Niles Community Schools filed its Charges for Dismissal.

Ms. Scott is troubled that the interim superintendant would state publicly that Ms. Scott would need a court order to prevent the disclosure of this personal information and then request its legal counsel to oppose Ms. Scott when she did just that. Due to
the false nature of the vast majority of allegations against her, Ms. Scott will respond appropriately through the legal channels available to her.

Ms. Scott adamantly denies betraying the public trust and misusing her work time for personal interests. She has been and remains dedicated to serving the children of the Niles community school system. "

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