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Part of criminal probe, Arlington athletic director now fights dismissal

Posted by Brock Parker  December 11, 2012 05:39 PM

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An Arlington athletic director who is the subject of a criminal investigation is fighting what his attorney is calling a cavalier and “inept” attempt by the school district to fire him.

Ted Dever, of Winchester, has been on paid administrative leave since August, when local police notified Arlington Public Schools that the athletic director was the subject of a criminal investigation.

Authorities have not released any information about what the case entails, and Arlington Police Chief Fred Ryan declined to comment Tuesday on what he said is an ongoing investigation.

But Dever’s attorney Rick Grundy said Arlington Superintendent of Schools Kathleen Bodie has notified Dever of her intention to dismiss him even though no charges have been filed against him.

Grundy said he and Dever met with Bodie and an attorney representing the school district on Tuesday, Dec. 4, for a hearing about Dever’s employment and were told of several performance-related reasons behind Bodie’s intention to fire Dever.

But Grundy said the questions about Dever’s performance are unfounded.

“Now we know they made up their minds on some severely faulty information,” Grundy said.

Bodie did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday.

When the criminal investigation involving Dever was announced in August and Dever was placed on paid leave, Bodie released a statement that said the school district was unaware of any allegations of conduct that involved the operation of the Arlington High School athletic programs or of the Arlington Public Schools.

Then on Nov. 15, Grundy said Dever received a letter from Bodie regarding her intent to dismiss him. He said the questions about Dever’s performance on the job seem to have arisen in the days immediately after Dever was placed on administrative leave on Aug. 27.

Grundy said school officials told Dever at the hearing last week that the reasons behind the move to dismiss him included the athletic director’s failure to print and provide athletic schedules and failure complete rosters or verify student eligibility to play sports before he was placed on administrative leave.

But Grundy said tryouts were still underway for fall sports at the time Dever was placed on leave, so rosters wouldn’t have been set and checks on student eligibility would not yet have been completed at that point.

Grundy said Dever told school officials that sports schedules had not been printed out in three years because the athletic department had “gone green” and maintained schedules online instead of printing them out.

Grundy said one of the more substantial reasons the school district gave for removing Dever from the position was his alleged failure to order uniforms in a timely fashion for the girls’ soccer team in the fall, which forced the team to wear T-shirts for its first two games. But Grundy said the girls did have uniforms for the start of the season, and that no one from Bodie’s office ever called the coach of the soccer team to see if the allegations were true.

Grundy said the process has been a cavalier and “inept handling of an attempt to terminate a department head.” He said the school district also refused to allow other school officials to present information at Dever’s hearing.

He said Bodie did not raise the criminal investigation into Dever as a reason for the move to terminate him.

Grundy said he still does not know exactly what Dever is being investigated about, and the athletic director has not been subpoenaed or called to testify before a grand jury. He said Dever loves his job and is eager to get back to work.

“If Ted Dever is going to be charged, I’ll address that when it happens,” Grundy said. “I’m not so sure that is going to happen.”

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