Lakota superintendent claims to be victim of ‘character assassination,’ board hires investigator

The sheriff’s office investigated the allegations and decided they did not constitute criminal conduct.
Lakota Local Schools contracts investigator to look into claims against Superintendent Matt...
Lakota Local Schools contracts investigator to look into claims against Superintendent Matt Miller(Lakota Local Schools/file)
Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 10:15 PM EDT

BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (ENQUIRER) - Lakota Local Schools superintendent Matt Miller spoke for the first time publicly Wednesday regarding allegations against him that he says are false and “lack merit and proof,” according to our media partners at the Enquirer.

Meanwhile the school board approved a contract with New York City-based law firm Jackson Lewis P.C. to further investigate the district leader.

Miller said he has been the target of character assassination over the last couple of years “professionally, politically (and) personally.”

He stated that he cooperated with a Butler County Sheriff’s investigation, which found no probable cause that Miller committed any crimes, and is now cooperating with the district’s investigation.

“I will continue to devote my career, my life, to our kids and to our students, staff, administrators and our community and I won’t let bullies and rumors and false accusations deter me from that work,” Miller said during the meeting.

Wednesday’s special meeting was announced late Tuesday afternoon to the public and offered time for community members to speak. A parent and Lakota alum, Brian Neff, called for Miller’s resignation during public comment.

Neff told The Enquirer he’s lived in the district for more than four decades, has three children who graduated from Lakota and two kids currently attending Lakota schools.

“It feels like the CEO of 17,000 students at this point in his life has no guard rails, no guidebook, nothing that tells him what’s right and what’s wrong,” Neff said during public comment. “And my biggest fear is that this board spent an hour and a half behind a closed-door meeting to decide how to wash it away.”

Board member Darbi Boddy, who has historically attacked Miller’s character at board meetings, was the only board member to comment on the investigation during Wednesday’s meeting. She called for the board to put Miller on leave and begin the termination process, which the board did not vote on or move to consider.

“The police have confirmed that Matt Miller advertised on Craigslist for men to sleep with his wife,” Boddy said. “We do not need to spend money on an investigation when we know these things about his character. They are absolutely not character traits that you look for in a superintendent.”

Boddy voted yes on the motion to approve the investigation, as did all other board members.

Board unanimously approves contract with investigator

The board voted to approve a contract with Jackson Lewis P.C., a New York City-based law firm with offices in Cincinnati, to conduct an investigation into Miller. The law firm specializes in labor and employment law.

The firm will charge the district between $280 and $360 hourly for their work on the investigation, according to the contract. The rates vary depending on the staff member working on the case.

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