WASHINGTON (KDKA) — A local school superintendent arrested and accused of assaulting his girlfriend was back at work Wednesday.
Paul Kasunich has been on paid administrative leave following charges that he attacked his girlfriend, Darlene Tartaglione.
On Friday, Kasunich waived his right to a preliminary hearing of physically assaulting Tartaglione, principal in another district. That means the case moves on to a judge or jury in the criminal court system.
Days later, the two were scheduled to see a family court judge about Tartaglione’s protection from abuse order against Kasunich and his protection from abuse order against her. He claims he was assaulted by her. That hearing was postponed, yet to be rescheduled.
The school board, having earlier suspended Kasunich with pay, decided to reinstate him as superintendent.
In a statement, the Trinity Area School District school board said, “In reaching its decision, the board took into consideration the serious nature of the allegations; the outstanding reputation of Dr. Kasunich; and the various options available to the board. In addition, the board had a candid discussion with Dr. Kasunich regarding the board’s expectations and concerns.”
Some district residents who have not judged guilt or innocence take issue with the process.
“Well, I think, just like if a student was suspended, they don’t get to come to school, you know, while they’re in suspension,” Diane Quader said. “They have to stay at home and wait until the verdict.”
“I just think that if he was suspended before with pay, before his hearing or anything, they ought to keep it like that until after the hearing and find out if he’s innocent or guilty, before they give a job back,” Bill Crupe said.
“It doesn’t put out the right messages for the kids in the district, because then that says, you can do one thing, and turn around and do something else,” Frank Vorhes said. “It’s totally hypocritical.”
A number of parents in the district are expected to attend the regularly scheduled school board meeting Thursday night.