Austintown schools athletic director told to return to job after investigation into athlete drug testing
After being placed on paid administrative leave in late August, Austintown Local Schools' athletic director was told to return to work following an investigation.
According to files obtained by 21 News, Austintown Local Schools Athletic Director Russell Houser was expected to be back on the job Friday following an investigation into the implementation of the district's student-athlete drug program.
The investigation consisted of interviews with the investigator and superintendent Tim Kelty, a review of Board policy, the District's student-athlete handbook and drug and alcohol testing procedures, student athletic rosters and drug test results.
Of the five allegations brought against Houser, only one was substantiated in part. During the review, it was found that several students were not tested for the presence of marijuana or THC while many others were. According to the files, Houser said that was the first time he was made aware of the issue because he did not routinely review the drug screening results.
Houser admitted that he should review the results more clearly, but the investigation found that he did not knowingly allow inconsistent testing.
The school district listed four corrective actions to the issues. Those include specific guidance for the district's drug testing program, implementing the drug testing program per that guidance, having the Board of Education revisit the drug testing program and that the program be formalized as a Board policy.