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Details Foggy on Hen Hud Staff Pot Investigation

MONTROSE, N.Y. – The Hendrick Hudson School District said Tuesday that it is still unable to release most details surrounding an investigation involving its staff members for the possible possession and/or selling of marijuana. District Spokesperson Rick McCormack said the district is barred from providing specifics about the investigation because they pertain to personnel disciplinary matters.

“We talk about individuals who made poor choices, and poor choices will lead to consequences, and we’re going to get to the bottom of this and it will be resolved,” he said.

In an action taken Tuesday, the Hendrick Hudson Board of Education scheduled a board meeting to take place on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. to "discuss matters of the employment history of a particular person and / or matters leading to the promotion, demotion, discipline, suspension, dismissal or removal of a particular person." The board has not released the names of the person or people to be discussed, and said the meeting will take place in a closed executive session.

The investigation began Monday, Feb. 13, after Hendrick Hudson Superintendent Daniel McCann’s office called New York State Police into the district to investigate. New York State Police told reporters at The Daily Cortlandt there was not enough evidence to make an arrest in the case and turned all evidence collected in their investigation over to school officials. McCormack said he could not comment on why the investigation was initiated.

McCormack said there have been “no resignations at this point” and that he could not comment on why a teacher in the high school is on leave of absence. Many parents were notified of the absence in an email sent out by high school Principal James Mackin.

In the letter, Mackin wrote “Effective February 17, 2012, [the teacher] will be on a leave of absence from his position as a teacher at Hendrick Hudson High School. I fully understand the impact this will have on the students in his classes and I intend to speak with all of his students when we return from the mid-winter recess.” The email went on to say, “Please know that providing your child with the best instruction available is our top priority. The district will endeavor to engage a long-term substitute to continue the semester with your children. For the short-term, a substitute teacher will be using instructional materials provided by [the teacher] to ensure classes stay on track.”

McCormack said it’s still too early to say what kind of disciplinary action could be taken by the board of education and the superintendent, and what kinds of details about the investigation will be released when it’s concluded.

McCormack said it’s unclear when the investigation will be closed, or how it is proceeding in a week when there are no students, staff or administration in the building because of winter break.

“I think that’ll be determined at the end of an investigation and the board and the superintendent sit down with their attorneys and see what can be done, and what should be done. I think it’s premature to at this point to start talking about this stuff,” he said.

Notably, there is a resignation discussion item on the board of education’s agenda for its Feb. 29 meeting, however, the district said it is not related to the ongoing investigation.

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