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Parents grill school board over knowledge of former principal's misconduct

By Andrew Wittenberg | Posted - Dec. 6, 2012 at 10:29 p.m.

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HEBER CITY — A former charter school principal was arrested this week after admitting to sexually abusing children for decades.

Thursday night, parents from his former school grilled school officials and members of the Wasatch County Sheriff's Department, wondering what they knew about any sexual misconduct by their principal and when they knew it.

Two separate incidents involving Charles Weber at Soldier Hollow Charter School were revealed at a closed meeting of board members and parents. The board said they were made aware of allegations shortly before Weber was fired in August, but no inappropriate activity was found by investigators.

"(It was) a suspicious, kind of uncomfortable situation. The Sherriff's department, as I understand, investigated it reported back that there was no impropriety," said David Sullivan, chairman of the Soldier Hollow Charter School Board.

The first incident involved an inappropriate conversation Weber had with a young adult vendor this past summer; another surrounded a witness who claims to have seen Weber and a student leaving a bathroom together. Both events are alleged to have happened at the school.

Parents still hold raw emotions over the developments of the past week, but most were satisfied with the board's explanation — that board members knew of no wrongdoing.

"I think I can see from their sincerity, the board and the teachers, there would have been no way they would have wanted to hide a pedophile, or make excuses for Mr. Weber and his behavior," said Eric Carlson.

Soldier Hollow has been labeled one of Utah's best schools, winning a National Blue Ribbon Award just two years ago. Now, amid a scandal of sexual abuse, everyone involved with the school is hoping to move forward.

"I think they did a very good job of putting our minds at ease, letting us know they've done everything," said parent Michelle Mounteer. "Now it's in the hands of the authorities, and Chuck's behind bars."

Weber had been principal at Soldier Hollow since 2005. He now sits in the Wasatch County Jail on $1 million bond.


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