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Updated Nov 2, 2013 - 3:30 pm

Report: Ariz. school official did nothing unlawful

TUCSON, Ariz. -- A law firm hired to investigate accusations of harassment and discrimination against Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and Blind Superintendent Robert Hill has cleared him of any major wrongdoing.

The findings are included in two reports obtained by the Arizona Daily Star through a public records request.

The newspaper reported Saturday that Hill did not engage in any unlawful activities when dealing with workers. However, one report did question the way he communicated with employees and the way he handled certain situations.

Hill was placed on administrative leave during a meeting of the governing board on Oct. 24. Hill, who was unavailable for comment, will be able to respond to the allegations at the board's next meeting.

Parents, students and employees have criticized Hill for poor communication, lack of leadership and the dismissals of former administrator Nancy Amann and former agriculture teacher Richard Layton.

In May, the school's governing board agreed to hire private investigators after hearing from a raucous crowd of critics who had called for the resignations of Hill and then-Board President Bernhardt Jones.

Hill and Jones are also under scrutiny from the state for a potential conflict of interest regarding their involvement with an interpreter-training program and for allegedly excessive travel expenses. Those matters are being investigated by the state and are not covered by the two reports.

Amann had filed two grievances against Hill. Most of the disagreements between the two stemmed from a series of incidents in which Hill questioned her leadership.

Hill put Amann on administrative leave in February after school officials investigated an employee vehicle search that occurred a couple of months earlier when a video gambling device was stolen from a dorm room.

When Amann's contract expired in June, the board voted not to renew it.

The report concluded Hill had grounds for placing Amann on leave and no discrimination was involved. However, investigators noted that Hill had not created an evaluation system for Amann or other contract employees.

Hill could have addressed most of his concerns about Amann's job performance in an evaluation, but she hadn't received one in a few years, according to the report.

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Information from: Arizona Daily Star, http://www.azstarnet.com

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