A school board in northeast Arkansas voted last week to place its superintendent on paid administrative leave and begin “termination proceedings,” according to a news release provided by the district.
The Harrisburg School District board made the decision regarding Superintendent Michael McInnis during a specially called meeting, school officials said.
Assistant Superintendent Doug Worley will fill the top role in an emergency capacity until a decision has been made regarding McInnis, Donn Mixon, the district’s attorney, said Tuesday.
Neither the release nor unofficial minutes from the special meeting indicated the reason for the board’s decision.
Mixon said he couldn’t speak about the motivations for the board’s vote, but said they will be discussed during a hearing McInnis requested to determine the status of his employment.
According to the attorney, the board could decide to do one of three things: members could terminate McInnis, allow the superintendent to remain while placing him under certain conditions, or allow him to remain without making any changes.
If the board votes to terminate McInnis, Mixon said it’s “highly likely” the decision would be made Thursday.
During the previous week’s meeting, when the board voted to place McInnis on leave, members went into executive session for roughly two hours to “discuss personnel matters,” minutes show.
Jeb Bass, the board’s secretary, motioned to place the superintendent on paid administrative leave and initiate the termination proceedings, the document states. Board Disbursement Officer Nacole Sweeney seconded, and the members unanimously carried the motion.
The board also removed McInnis from all financial accounts, voting unanimously for Connie Mooney to replace him.
According to the minutes, McInnis wasn’t present for the meeting or executive session.
In his interview, Mixon said the district’s principals and other administrators have worked to keep the first two weeks of classes a “normal experience for the kids.”
“No part of the decision involved students or any relationship with students,” the attorney said.