Farwell BOE places O’Bryant on unpaid leave

May 11, 2018

By Pat Maurer
Correspondent


It was a long, tense evening at the Farwell Board of Education meeting Monday that ended with Superintendent David O’Bryant placed on administrative leave without pay.

O’Bryant, who has been superintendent since last November, was charged in March with felony embezzlement of Rogers City school district funds while he was an athletic director in that district. He was the superintendent of Rogers City Area Schools for two years, was a sixth through 8th grade principal for the previous five years and athletic director for three years.

He replaced Carl Seiter who left Farwell last June to take a position as superintendent of two districts, Hillman Community Schools and Atlanta Community Schools. Retired Harrison Superintendent Tom House filled the position as interim superintendent until O’Bryant was hired.

Farwell BOE President Shari Buccilli reads a motion to place Superintendent David O’Bryant on administrative leave without pay. From left are: John Gross, Holly Thrush, Joe Maxey, Ms. Buccilli, Angelina Hammond, Kelee Robinson and William Geyer.

Farwell BOE President Shari Buccilli reads a motion to place Superintendent David O’Bryant on administrative leave without pay. From left are: John Gross, Holly Thrush, Joe Maxey, Ms. Buccilli, Angelina Hammond, Kelee Robinson and William Geyer.


O’Bryant was arraigned last Friday morning in 89th District Court in Rogers City on charges of embezzlement and larceny by conversion. The charges involve interest charges on equipment purchased for a youth football program that were paid with school district funds.

O’Bryant is out on $5,000 bond.

Following four closed sessions that took up nearly two hours of the meeting with the last two with O’Bryant, (who did not attend the open meeting) and the second with the school’s attorney, Robert G. Huber of Thrun Law Firm, Board President Shari Buccilli read the motion to: “place District Superintendent David O’Bryant on unpaid administrative leave pending disposition of felony criminal charges pending against him.”

After the meeting Huber repeated, “O’Bryant was placed on administrative leave because of the felony charges pending against him.”

School Board President Shari Buccilli said, “This is a terrible day in the history of this school district.”

The last motion of the evening was to hire former Harrison superintendent Tom House again to serve as superintendent in the interim.

O’Bryant and Darby Weaver were the two final candidates interviewed in November for the superintendent’s position, when O’Bryant was selected. The Michigan Leadership Institute (MLI) handled the search.

The first hour and a half of the Board of Education meeting, which was held at the Lincoln Township Community Center in Lake George included regular business.

Business Manager Emily Kearney gave preliminary figures during a discussion on the 2018-19 budget process. She said the anticipated enrollment for the coming year is 1,191.67 students and noted that the decreasing enrollment accounted for the anticipated decrease in revenues which were estimated to decrease by $300,000. She also said expenditures were projected to decrease by $229,000, but that the budget for the coming year would use an estimated $220,282 of the fund balance, leaving about $700,451.00 or about five percent of the total budget.

Kearney said six busses would have to be replaced in the coming school year; three that did not pass inspections and three with leases expiring. She said the cost for a new bus was approximately $80,000 and the annual cost to lease a bus is approximately $14,000.

A budget for the coming year will be adopted next month.
Other business included:
*Approval of the Clare-Gladwin Regional Education Service District Budget Resolution.
*Approval to hire a new social worker.
*Recognition of Students of the Month including 8th grader Samantha Farnam; 9th grader William Laverty; 10th grader Jesse Fogle; 11th grader Jason Dibble; 12th grader Dakota Jackson; and Timberland student Allen Pipes.
*The board approved a flag donated to the high school from State Representative Jason Wentworth; a $300 donation to Science Olympiad from the Farwell Women’s Club/ $384 for basketballs from the Farwell Sports Boosters; $250 from the Brighter Futures Fund of the Midland Area Community Foundation; and $500 for an AED device for Timberland from the Clare County Youth Fund.
*Administrators Comments and a letter of thanks to Mt. Pleasant Community Schools and the MEA regarding a recent suicide of a student.

*After two closed sessions, the suspension of two students.

*Approval to hire Connie Boyd as Cheer Coach and Carrie Bass to coach Girls golf.

*Approval of monthly bills totaling $1,262,543.39.

Share This Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Current day month ye@r *