West Valley School District Superintendent Michael Brophy has been placed on paid administrative leave pending “an investigation into allegations of policy violations.”
The decision, announced Wednesday morning via email from school board President Mark Strong, was effective as of this past Friday.
Strong said that the ongoing investigation into “a confidential personnel matter” prevented the district from providing further comment, and directed further questions to the district’s lawyer.
The announcement comes after a more than one-hour executive session in which the board discussed the performance of a public employee during its Tuesday night board meeting. No decision was made at the meeting.
Brophy’s blog, which provides district updates, has been taken down and his emails are being forwarded to Assistant Superintendent Peter Finch.
Strong said in the Wednesday statement that Finch is the acting superintendent during the investigation.
The Yakima Herald-Republic has requested records from the district related to Brophy’s employment.
Brophy referred all questions Wednesday to his lawyer, William D. Pickett of Yakima.
Pickett said he was getting up to speed on what the allegations and facts of the case were. He said Brophy had a pending request into the district to take a medical leave of absence, in a “somewhat separate but related issue.” Pickett said he and Brophy were waiting to hear a response to the request from the district. In the meantime, he said, he couldn’t comment more about the district investigation until he had gathered more details.
In late January, the West Valley Education Association had a no-confidence vote in Brophy’s leadership. During a school board meeting, WVEA President Heidi Mochel said the vote meant “that our association no longer trusts, believes in, or will invest in building a working relationship with Dr. Brophy,” according to minutes from the Jan. 26 meeting.
In a following special board meeting, Strong responded to the vote, expressing the board’s “full support” in Brophy, according to meeting minutes.