River Valley Local School officials decided to reinstate James Peterson as superintendent effective Monday. The River Valley School Board released the following press release:
Last Evening, the River Valley Local School District Board of Education Board during a special meeting to discontinue the administrative leave of Superintendent Jim Peterson subject to specific directives of the Board. The Boards’ decision is the result of an investigation of serious concerns raised concerning the action and performance of Superintendent Peterson.
Due to he serious nature of the allegations and issues raised, the board was duty-bound to conduct an independent, professional and thorough investigation. This would ensure that accurate and reliable information could be gathered to permit the Board to make an informed decision that is in the best interest of the District. The Board remained mindful of the fact that the investigation was of the allegation and no point during the investigation were any conclusions made as to the validity of the allegations.
The investigation involved interviews of many witnesses. The board was mindful of the desire of all those interested to perform the investigation expeditiously but the Board was, and will always be, unwilling to compromise the thoroughness of an inquiry in exchange for convenience.
Based on the substantial information gathered during the investigation, the Board has concluded that it is in the best interest of the District to return Superintendent Peterson to his active duties subject to and conditioned upon his acceptance of formal written directives approved by the Board.
The Board has concluded that, while some of Superintendent Peterson’s actions were unacceptable, such actions were nonetheless correctable with appropriate direction. The Board believes that Superintendent Peterson is an asset to the River Valley Local School District and the Board believes that the District is best served with Superintendent Peterson as its leader.
Peterson, was placed on administrative leave on Jan. 26 after a board member received an email alleging misconduct. The investigation took 1 and 1/2 months. A 300 word email by an anonymous sender, accused Peterson of touching a female suggestively on the shoulders and back, and making comments about her breasts.