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School district cuts all links with King

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The Lake Oswego School Board severed ties with embattled high school swim coach Don King, 67, Tuesday night.

The board acted in response to a recommendation to dismiss King by Superinten-dent Bill Korach.

King previously was acquitted on charges that he had sexually abused junior-high school girl swimmers in Linn County. Similar charges in Clackamas County later were dropped.

In a letter to King, who also runs King Swimming at the Lake Oswego School District Pool, Korach spelled out concerns the district had in retaining King, who was employed as a lifeguard with the district. Korach noted he was accepting the recommendation of Kristen Winn, executive director of human resources for the district, to dismiss King.

Specifically, he wrote that 'as you are aware, Ms. Winn's recommendation, as described to you in a letter dated April 24, 2008, was based on your physical contact with minors during the course of your participation in swimming activities. In Kristen Winn's letter to you, that contact was described both as being inappropriate in nature, and in violation of Board Policy 4151, which prohibits sexual harassment. In addition to these charges, the district was provided with information that alleged more serious conduct by you toward two female swimmers many years ago.'

Korach noted that King 'engaged in physical contact with children that would not be accepted of any employee of the district.'

Specifically noted in the letter was 'the evidence clearly demonstrates that you engaged in a practice of touching children on the buttocks and placing your fingers under their swimsuits. This fact is supported by your own admissions, as well as the photographic evidence in the record.'

King was on paid administrative leave from the school district since his arrest last July on the Linn County charges. The Clackamas County charges later were leveled, only to be dismissed after the Linn County jury found him not guilty of six counts of sex abuse.

At the time, jurors indicated they were bothered by King's actions but could not legally find him guilty.