School Official Deal Troubling

Martins Ferry School District Treasurer Karen Blake has been on paid leave for more than a year. Now, courtesy of an agreement with the board of education, she will remain off the job until Dec. 31, 2021 — but drawing her full salary and benefits, including paid vacation and retirement.

Neither Blake nor school officials will talk about the situation, except for a comment she made that, “The only thing is, I cannot sue them for any type of harassment, sexual or bullying, or anything unethical or illegal that I have found over the years.”

The agreement is mutual, with both Blake and the board releasing each other from any liability.

Blake has said that while treasurer, she learned of improprieties in the school district. She added she has turned records over “to the proper authorities.”

Obviously, state officials should be looking into whatever allegations Blake has made. Something about the situation — speculating on what would be unwise at this point — smells bad.

The sooner the public learns just what is behind the situation, the better. This is one in which using the old excuse about not discussing personnel matters will not suffice.


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