District says investigation looking at 'possible misuse' of district, student funds

Following an executive session Feb. 22, the Reynolds School District Board said it was directing 'legal counsel to continue investigating the possible misuse of public and student body funds' by Reynolds High Principal Jeff Gilbert.

'Preliminary findings are being provided to Mr. Gilbert's attorney, and we are awaiting a response,' the board added.

When pressed for details, Andrea Watson, district spokeswoman, declined to be more specific.

'The school district and the school board support taking the necessary steps to perform due diligence and due process before reaching any conclusions,' she said. 'The investigations must be completed first.'

The Outlook attempted to contact Gilbert's attorney, James M. Brown, for a response but did not receive any in time for deadline.

Gilbert was placed on unpaid leave Jan. 31 following the expiration of his emergency administrator's license, which was granted in July 2011 from the state Teacher Standards and Practices Commission. The district has been investigating his conduct in matters not related to the license expiration.

Melody Hanson, director of professional practices for the standards and practices commission, said the commission is investigating Gilbert for possible violations of state standards. Hanson noted standards refer to an educator's ethics and competence.

'Because this case is still under investigation, I cannot reveal any of the allegations,' she added.

The commission meets in April and July and could decide how to proceed on the investigation at either meeting, she added.

The Reynolds School District named Jim Kuhlmann acting principal of Reynolds High School on Feb. 21.

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