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GARY — A West Side Leadership Academy staff member has been on administrative leave for the last month pending the outcome of a police investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct with a student, school officials and city attorneys have confirmed.

The person accused also filed a complaint with Gary police after he was assaulted last month in connection with the allegations, Gary attorney Rodney Pol said in an email. 

Because charges have not been filed, The Times is not naming the suspect.

The Times filed a records request Jan. 2 seeking police reports related to the sexual misconduct allegations and related assault that occurred outside West Side Academy on Dec. 11.

The Gary Police Department, through city of Gary attorneys, declined to release any information contained in the reports. An attorney for the city said last week in an email the allegations “are being taken very seriously,” and more information will be released as the investigation progresses.

Former Gary school board President Rosie Washington, who resigned at the end of 2017, confirmed to The Times last week the individual was put on administrative leave last month.

She was informed of the situation prior to resigning from her position on the board Dec. 31, Washington said.

Gary Schools Corp. Superintendent Cheryl Pruitt told The Times last week she doesn’t know anything about the allegations, and deferred all questions to emergency manager Peggy Hinckley.

Hinckley told The Times the individual remains on administrative leave while Gary police and the school investigate. 


Public safety reporter

Lauren covers breaking news, crime and courts for The Times. She previously worked at The Herald-News in Joliet covering government, public policy, and the region’s heroin epidemic. She holds a master’s degree in Public Affairs Reporting.