Iowa superintendent faces ethics charges

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TREYNOR, Iowa (AP) — A school superintendent in western Iowa did not appropriately respond to allegations that a district employee sexually assaulted a student, according to an education board that's issued ethics charges against the school leader.

Treynor Community Schools Superintendent Kevin Elwood faces two counts of unethical practice, according to the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners. A hearing on the charges is scheduled to start Jan. 5.

According to a document explaining the charges, the board — which enforces the licensure system for education leaders in the state — believes Elwood was aware of sexual assault allegations against a seasonal custodian for months. The custodian worked on school grounds until July 2013, but an investigation showed Elwood knew about the allegations around May of that year, the document said.

Additional information about the allegations against the former custodian was not in the document.

Elwood's attorney, Drew Bracken, said there's no evidence to the claims against his client.

"Mr. Elwood has always been very concerned about the best possible programs at Treynor," Bracken said. "He's sure that at the end of this process, the board will find that he never comprised the safety of any students at Treynor."

One count charges Elwood with unethical practice by failing to make "reasonable effort" to protect students or creating conditions harmful to student learning. The second count charges him with conducting work in such a way that he exposed students and others to "unnecessary embarrassment or disparagement."

Bracken said the document describing the circumstances of the case is unclear.

"We're not sure exactly what he's being accused of ... there are very, very few specifics," he said.

An administrative law judge will preside over the upcoming hearing, but the board will make a final decision in the case over disciplinary action.

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