District releases reasons why superintendent was suspended - WNEM TV 5

Local school district releases reasons why superintendent was suspended

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CLIO, MI (WNEM) -

A local school superintendent is under fire months after the school board placed him on administrative leave.

In April of this year, red flags were raised when the Clio School Board decided to suspend its superintendent and put a new person in charge. On Tuesday, TV5 learned for the first time what led to that decision, but the man behind it all said it is simply not true.

According to the Clio School Board, the investigation of former Clio School's Superintendent Dr. James Tenbusch started in September 2013. The board said an employee in the district's business office noticed some irregularities. The concerns were brought to the board, which then confronted Dr. Tenbusch.

"The response was always, 'Everything is fine. Don't worry about it. It's not your role as board members to get involved in management of the district,'" board member Eric Wood read off a prepared statement at Tuesday's school board meeting. "We now know that the business office has been in complete chaos and disarray for the entire school year."

The board said its investigation found some serious issues under Tenbusch's leadership.

"Daily occurrences of board policy, disruption in pay and benefits, late fees, unpaid taxes and countless other irregularities have been uncovered in the last three months," Wood read.

In April, the board suspended Tenbusch. But Tenbusch said those allegations are simply not true.

"Clearly, that's a false statement. My records and my communication to the board indicate the exact opposite of what was claimed tonight," Tenbusch told TV5.

Tenbusch is currently suing the district for more than $100,000, claiming he was removed from his position in violation of the Whistleblower's Protection Act. He claims he has reported unlawful doings by other employees to the board, and the board has done nothing to address those issues.

"It's very disappointing to see repeated efforts to defame my character and destroy me, in terms of my career," Tenbusch said.

Since suspending Tenbusch, the board has hired Fletcher Spears III as the new superintendent, and the district has been forced to trim $1 million from its budget to make up for its deficit, which included laying off 11 teachers.

Tenbusch is still an employee of the Clio School District.

He is now the Clio High School and community education superintendent.

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