WATERVILLE — Schools Superintendent Eric Haley apparently made a recommendation Wednesday night to the Board of Education about whether Waterville Senior High School Principal Don Reiter be dismissed or returned to his job.

Haley said in an interview before the meeting, however, that the recommendation would not be made public.

Haley placed Reiter on paid administrative leave Sept. 1 for a reason he will not reveal. Reiter’s lawyer, Gregg Frame, indicated it has to do with allegations by another person.

Frame said Wednesday in a voice message that he did not know what Haley would recommend to the board.

“If there is a recommendation of dismissal, Mr. Reiter will request a full hearing in front of the school board,” Frame said, “because, again, there’s nothing here, to me, that merits any discipline, never mind dismissal.”

The board went into executive session Wednesday night to discuss “consultations between school unit and its attorney.” Haley said the board would not take action on his recommendation Wednesday.


Asked when the Morning Sentinel or public would learn of his recommendation, Haley said he did not know.

“I’ve asked the attorneys that very question because it’s what everyone wants to know,” he said.

Haley, superintendent of Alternative Organizational Structure 92, and Assistant Superintendent Peter Thiboutot conducted an internal investigation of the allegations against Reiter, interviewing about 20 people in the case. Haley reported the allegations to police, who conducted their own investigation and sent their report on Sept. 25 to District Attorney Maeghan Maloney.

Maloney said Tuesday that she expects her office will have completed at least an initial review of the case by the end of next week.

The school district’s attorney, Melissa Hewey, of Drummond Woodsum Attorneys at Law, of Portland, said in a telephone interview before Wednesday’s school board meeting that no one is going to reveal what Haley’s recommendation is, as it involves a personnel matter, and those matters are confidential.

“We can’t do it,” Hewey said. “You can’t be saying, ‘I’ve decided X or Y,’ although I would assume that since the results of the decision are there to be seen, people will probably be able to figure it out.”


If Reiter returns to work, for instance, then the public will realize the recommendation was that he be returned to work, according to Hewey. If Haley recommends dismissal, then Reiter would be the one to ask for a dismissal hearing before the school board, she said.

“The statute says you can only dismiss a principal in the middle of a contract for just cause on the recommendation of the superintendent after a hearing, if one is requested by the employee,” Hewey said.

No timeline is outlined in the law that says when a dismissal hearing must be held, she said.

Generally, if a superintendent recommends dismissal, the employee makes the decision about whether and when a dismissal hearing is held, she said.

The law for teachers is different in that it stipulates a dismissal hearing must be held if a superintendent recommends dismissal, she said.

In this case, Hewey indicated the outcome will not be known immediately.


“I don’t think anything is going to happen right away,” she said, “but I’m not the board’s counsel, so I’m not meeting with them tonight.”

The school board meeting was held at 6 p.m. in the Mid-Day Cafe at Mid-Maine Technical Center next to the high school.

The board voted to approve a second reading of a policy dealing with athletic eligibility and participation, as well as a second reading of one dealing with alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. Members also voted to approve first readings of policies on questioning and searches of students and use of physical restraint and seclusion.

Albert S. Hall School Principal Barbara Jordan reported that on Sunday, students and their families showed up at the school to paint the playground, a project initiated by the parent-teacher organization.

“It did my heart a lot of good because it did feel like a community event,” Jordan said.

George J. Mitchell School Principal Allen Martin said a family literacy night event was taking place at his school Wednesday that included 75 families and about 200 people.


Acting high school Principal Brian Laramee reported that student Izzy Labbe had applied for and received a $1,000 grant to host a series of seminars relating to women’s health and development.

Amy Calder — 861-9247


Twitter: @AmyCalder17

Comments are no longer available on this story

filed under: