Children Services and the police conducted an investigation, concluded that the claims were unsubstantiated and closed the case, Blessing said.
"Based on the outcome of those investigations, the district returned Mr. Buzzell to his duties,” Blessing said. “Since 2014, the district has been unaware of any other issues involving Mr. Buzzell that might have prompted administrative action or any sort of investigation.”
In a Sept. 30 letter to the Ohio Department of Education Professional Conduct Office, a district official said Buzzell’s behind-closed-doors actions Sept. 18 were discovered after another school official alerted to the meeting viewed video footage of him in the office Sept. 24.
Confronted about the incident during a meeting the next day, Buzzell voluntarily told district officials his version of events that occurred in his office, saying the former student arranged to meet him at the school because she was “having a hard time” and wanted to talk to someone because a relative was ill and she was very upset, according to the letter.
Buzzell told district officials he has known the former student since she was five years old and has been in contact with her. He said she was crying when she entered his office and “he was trying to calm her down with some mindfulness activities.”
In contrast, the district said in its letter the video of the former student shows her smiling and happy. In addition, she said she was asked to come there as part of Buzzell’s ongoing non-school participation in paid research programs, which previously had taken place at an area library.
District Human Resources Director Steve Homan told Miamisburg police that Buzzell was not authorized to conduct the testing on school property or on school time. According to the letter, Buzzell has been directed in the past not to use district resources, including his office, for that purpose.
During the meeting regarding the incident, Buzzell told district officials, when asked, that his behavior that day had not occurred anywhere else, according to the letter. When asked, he also denied recording it or recording anything else with any other student.
District officials then asked for Buzzell’s district-issued laptop and he refused, according to the letter. They asked again and he said “whatever” and moved it to the middle of the table after removing an SD card. They asked if he had just removed an SD card and Buzzell said “yes.” They asked if it was his, to which he replied: “yes; the district doesn’t buy us things like this.”
District officials then asked him if there was “anything inappropriate” on the SD card. Buzzell reportedly got upset and asked if he should look for another job. A district official replied that “it would be in his best interest to do that.”
Based on a cursory review of Buzzell’s computer usage, the district contacted Miamisburg Police Department prior to his Sept. 30 resignation. On Oct. 8, he pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges of voyeurism, unauthorized use of property and possession of criminal tools.
Buzzell, who is free on a $100,000 bond, is due in Miamisburg Municipal Court for a pretrial hearing Nov. 18.
“We’ve entered a not guilty plea and we’re looking forward to our day in court,” said Buzzell’s attorney, Patrick Mulligan, when contacted Thursday by this news outlet. “That’s really the only thing I have to say at this point.”