Lebanon teacher, choir director on leave during investigation

Teacher and high school choir director Kristi Ross is the Lebanon City Schools employee who was placed on paid leave last week amid an investigation.

A statement from Superintendent Todd Yohey on Wednesday said, without naming Ross, that an employee had been placed on leave pending the outcome of a police investigation.

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Yohey said the accusation came from one of the school’s booster organizations and deals with “alleged financial discrepancies” with a booster group. He said it “does not involve students or taxpayer funds.”

Lebanon voters approved a tax levy for school funding on Tuesday.

On Thursday, this news organization obtained the Oct. 31 letter to Ross, from Director of Human Resources J. Robert Buskirk, placing Ross on leave. The letter does not detail any accusations against Ross, saying only that the move is “pending the investigation of certain matters relating to your employment.”

Lebanon Police declined to comment on specifics of the case Thursday, citing an ongoing investigation. Ross, who has taught music in Lebanon for several years, has not been arrested or charged with a crime. She could not be reached for comment Thursday.

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During the leave, Ross is not to return to school grounds or attend school functions without written permission, but the letter to Ross says the action “does not constitute a disciplinary action or determination of wrongdoing on your part.”

Theft from schools and their booster groups has been a repeated issue in the Dayton area.

In Springboro, Thomas Harves was convicted in 2013 of embezzling over $400,000 from a school athletic group. In 2016, Stacy Bowling pleaded guilty to grand theft for embezzling $45,000 from St. Albert the Great Church, where she was cafeteria manager. In Centerville, Patrick McQuillan faced a 2017 court order to repay $60,677 he allegedly embezzled from the Centerville Soccer League.

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