Two indicted by grand jury are reinstated

STEUBENVILLE – The city board of education returned two administrators who had been indicted by the special grand jury investigating the Steubenville rape case to their previous positions during its meeting Tuesday.

According to a release from the district, Lynette Gorman, Pugliese West Elementary School principal, and Seth Fluharty, a wrestling and conditioning coach at Garfield East Elementary School, were returned to their positions by the board during the meeting.

“After learning that three school district employees were indicted by a special grand jury convened by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, the board of education of Steubenville City Schools placed the indicted employees on administrative leave,” according to the release. “After review with legal counsel and Ohio professional organizations, the board returned Lynnett Gorman and Seth Fluharty to their positions as of Dec. 9. The two employees have good work records and are presumed innocent until proven guilty.”

The release also stated “the board has no information about the evidence leading to these charges, and any questions about the charges or the criminal investigation should be directed to the office of the Ohio attorney general. Our primary focus is on making sure the school district is able to conduct the business of educating our students.”

Gorman and Fluharty were indicted by the grand jury connected to an alleged previous rape that occurred and ultimately was investigated by the special grand jury. Both were indicted on one misdemeanor count regarding reporting child abuse or neglect on Aug. 13, 2012.

Also on Tuesday’s board agenda was an action to replace William Rhinaman, the now retired and former district technology director who indicted by the special grand jury on Oct. 7. Rhinaman was arrested and later entered a not guilty plea to charges, including tampering with evidence, obstructing justice, obstructing official business and perjury.

Ruth Ann Bruzzese, board vice president, said that Bryan D’Aurora was confirmed as new district technology director during the meeting. Also, the board accepted a $1,000 grant from the Jefferson County Education Center for two Best Practice grants for Pugliese West Elementary School.