No charges to be filed against Franklin superintendent over lett - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

No charges to be filed against Franklin superintendent over letter

FRANKLIN, OH (FOX19) -

Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell said Thursday that he will not file charges against the superintendent of Franklin City Schools over an anti- Gov. John Kasich letter that was sent to parents.

Superintendent Arnol Elam sent a letter to parents relating to his views to the governor's recently announced school funding formula and its effects on the Franklin School District. The letter stated, "As parents and friends of our district, I hope that you will do two things:  First, please join me in an active campaign to ensure that Gov. Kasich and any legislator who supports him are not re-elected..."

Fornshell launched an investigation to determined if the letter violated an Ohio Revised Code that prohibits the use of public funds to publish or distribute any newsletter that "[S]upports or opposes the nomination or election of a candidate for public office, the investigation, prosecution, or recall of a public official, or the passage of a levy or bond issue."

Fornshell said he was several conversations with school district officials and they expressed regret over the letter.

"Superintendent Elam intends to personally reimburse the district for the funds used to produce the page of the Letter that contained the Offending Language.  The FCSD Board has also represented that they will adopt additional procedures and safeguards to insure that no violations of this type occur in the future," said Fornshell. "Finally, Superintendent Elam and/or the FCSD Board also intend to use their own personal funds to notify the public of these facts utilizing the same manner of distribution as the original Letter.

"Based on these representations, and their prompt acceptance of responsibility for this mistake and prompt actions to rectify it, I have advised both Superintendent Elam and the FCSD Board that our office was satisfied with this outcome, and that our office would not be pursuing further action relating to the Offending Language," he said.

Fornshell also addressed allegations that the investigation was politically motivated.

"Neither Governor Kasich, the Ohio Republican Party, the Warren County Republican Party, local legislators, nor any of their representatives had anything to do with my decision to initiate an investigation into this matter.  Rather, I made the decision to investigate immediately upon my review of the Offending Language in the Letter that had been forwarded to me by the concerned Warren County resident," said Fornshell.

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