Shawnee Board of Education sets hearing date for dismissal of assistant athletic director

Staff reports
Ron Arthur coaches the Shawnee boys basketball team during a 2015 tournament in Shawnee.

The Shawnee Board of Education, during a brief meeting Thursday, received recommendation for the dismissal of Shawnee Assistant Athletic Director Ron Arthur, then set a formal hearing date for Sept. 18.

The meeting, scheduled for 7:15 a.m., adjourned just four minutes later at 7:19 a.m.

The Oklahoma State Board of Education also met and voted 6-1 on Thursday to suspend Arthur's teaching certificate. A hearing on whether to revoke his certification will be set at an undefined date.

Bill Flanagan was the only state board member to vote against Arthur's suspension.

"It was real close," Flanagan said after the state board meeting. "That was the main reason is the facts as we know them today are too close to make that decision."

At Shawnee's meeting, Cherity Pennington, the district's spokesperson, said Superintendent Dr. April Grace, recommending dismissal of Arthur from employment, gave each board member a sealed envelope with her recommendation, asking that the contents be read privately and stored securely.

More:Assistant AD at Shawnee Public Schools accused of sexual misconduct

The Shawnee boardthen voted to set a hearing date for 9 a.m. Sept. 18 in the Shawnee Administration Building.

The board also voted to direct Dr. Grace to provide a copy of the recommendation to Arthur in a manner provided by law and to notify him of his right to a hearing and the date, time, and place of that hearing.

Arthur, the longtime former boys basketball coach, was arrested earlier this month as part of an ongoing investigation being conducted by the Pottawatomie County Sheriff's Office.

Formal charges have not been filed, but Arthur turned himself in at the Pottawatomie County Public Safety Center after a judge signed a warrant for his arrest on complaints of child sexual abuse, forcible sodomy, lewd acts with a child and use of technology to solicit sexual conduct with a minor.

More:Kilby resigns as Shawnee boys' basketball coach

Arthur, who denies wrongdoing, has been suspended with pay from the school district since Aug. 2.

An investigation is ongoing.

Reporter Nuria Martinez-Keel contributed to this report.