(1-11-22) Three employees of the Delphos City Schools, Delphos Jefferson High School Principal Chad Brinkman, Intervention Specialist Karissa Hoersten and Education Administrative Specialist Maureen Rentz, have been suspended from “all duties that involve the care, custody and control of children” after misdemeanor charges of child endangerment were filed against them in Van Wert Municipal Court.
The three were arraigned in court this week.
The school district’s full statement:
On May 4, 2021, children services opened an investigation into alleged neglect of a student at Delphos City Schools. The investigation was focused on three District employees. Since the inception of the investigation, the District has cooperated with all requests made by law enforcement and children services. Since the District’s primary concern is the safety of its students, the District also conducted its own investigation into the alleged wrongdoing. Through its internal investigation, the District reviewed all the evidence that it provided to law enforcement and children services, interviewed several individuals with personal knowledge of the alleged misconduct, and requested that children services provide the District with any additional evidence not in the District’s possession. The District finalized this portion of its investigation prior to the start of the 2021-2022 school year to ensure that all of its students were being placed into safe classrooms. Based on the District’s internal investigation, it was unable to identify any instance of child abuse, child neglect, or other employee wrongdoing that jeopardized the safety of any student. In the fall of 2021, the Van Wert County Prosecutor’s office reviewed the available evidence. Similar to the District’s conclusion, the Van Wert County Prosecutor’s office decided not to pursue any criminal charges against these three employees.
Despite the results of the District’s internal investigation and the decision of the Van Wert County Prosecutor’s office, the Van Wert City Law Director recently decided to pursue misdemeanor charges of child endangerment against these three employees. Based on all the evidence currently available to the District, including its requests to law enforcement and children services for any additional evidence, the District does not believe that these three individuals engaged in any activity that endangered the safety of the District’s students. Nonetheless, in an abundance of caution, Delphos City Schools has suspended these three employees from all duties that involve the care, custody, and control of children, until these criminal charges are resolved. Unless the Law Director possesses evidence that has been withheld from the District throughout this entire process, the District is confident that these three employees will be exonerated from these charges in the near future.