Perry Township superintendent placed on leave

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Rich Van Wyk/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - One of Indiana's largest school systems may be looking for a new boss. The Perry Township School board put its superintendent, Dr. Doug Williams, on indefinite leave.

An unhappy crowd watched the Perry Township School Board put Superintendent Doug Williams on permanent paid leave with the intent of firing him. Williams, whose contract was recently extended another three years, predicted dire ramifications.

"I am talking about for the community, for the young people and for the schools. I think this is very unfortunate."

Williams, the superintendent for 13 years, clashed with several new board members.

Nancy Walsh, Board Vice President, charged, "He has chosen bullying, criticism, intimidation."

Vice President Nancy Walsh claims Williams refused to provide financial information board members asked for. "What does this represent when the school board cannot get basic answers to simple questions of the spending of taxpayer dollars?" she asked.

Four board members proposed the plan to oust Williams, leaving the other three in the dark until the morning of the meeting.

Board member Jo Ellen Buffie told other members and a room crowded with spectators, "The actions of the members of the board are not in the spirit of the open-door law and I feel are unethical."

According to most of the people at the meeting, the move by the board is unwarranted.

Here are a few of the comments they made to the board:

"It is beyond comprehension what you've decided to do this evening."

"You have put us in a downward spiral."

" You have grossly misused your power."

With a base pay of $155,000 and two and a half years left in his contract, firing Williams is likely to cost tax payers hundreds of thousands of dollars. Attorneys representing the superintendent and school board will work on an agreement to buy out that contract.

Assistant superintendent Dennis Nichols is now the interim superintendent of Perry Township Schools, Indiana's 13th largest school system.

Read board member Jo Ellen Buffie's comments from Monday night's meeting