Richland superintendent speaks out

RICHLAND, Wash. - Officials launched an investigation into this matter more than a month ago. It began when a complaint was filed with human resources. The married Superintendent quickly confessed to a relationship with a staffer at Jefferson Elementary.

Jim Busey has spoken to the Tri-City Herald on the record about the investigation. The school board is now concerned this is complicating the matter.

Rick Jansons, school board president said, "It's unfortunate he's decided to go to the press and talk about what's going on, nothing has been settled yet."

Busey told the paper the district already closed its investigation and found no wrongdoing but then reopened it. The superintendent was placed on paid leave December 10th.

Now, he told the Herald Richland wants him to resign. The paper says he would only do that if he was bought out of his contract to the tune of close to $400,000 dollars.

The school board isn't considering that.

Jansons continues, "We aren't talking about a buyout, not right now."

It's cash the district doesn't have, even if it comes from an insurance policy.

As always, KEPR wanted Busey's side of the story. While he's been outspoken in the paper, he didn't return our calls.

There's concern the playout in the media could distract from Busey's role as superintendent.

KEPR asked, "Is there a bit of faith lost throughout this entire ordeal between the leaders of the school district?

Janson's reply, "What I would tell parents is that we have very, very strong executive staff and a very strong teaching staff. The district is operating at 100 percent right now."

No firm decision will be made until the investigation is complete which could take a few more weeks due to the holidays. Until then, Busey's fate will hang in the balance.

School board officials are holding an executive meeting tomorrow to discuss the investigation and the facts uncovered so far.

The paper also reports Busey and his wife are now in the process of divorcing.