Penn Hills school board fires Linton Middle School principal

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The Penn Hills school board this week fired the suspended principal of Linton Middle School.

Davaun Barnett, 41, was terminated at a Monday board meeting, Penn Hills School District spokeswoman Teresita Kolenchak said today.

School directors Carl J. Barbarino, Jennifer L. Burgess-Johnson, Denise A. Graham-Shealey, Robert S. Hudak, Donald L. Kuhn and John A. Zacchia voted for the measure.

Heather K. Hoolahan abstained, and board vice president Carolyn L. Faggioli voted against it. Board president Joseph E. Bailey Sr. was absent.

Ms. Kolenchak would not comment on the decision because it is a personnel matter. Neither Mr. Barnett nor several members of the school board could be immediately reached.

Mr. Barnett had been suspended without pay from Linton Middle since June and faced three disciplinary charges including one for alleged actions listed in a protection-from-abuse order filed against him by his wife, Lisa Barnett, in May.

The PFA was vacated less than two weeks later through a consent agreement, and no charges against Mr. Barnett were filed.

At the time, the school board planned to use the PFA allegations as grounds to fire Mr. Barnett as well as allegations that he failed to account for $300 from a fundraiser and for not following proper procedure after to a bomb threat at his school.

Ira Weiss, special counsel to the district, said the PFA allegations were not a factor in the decision to terminate Mr. Barnett.

"The board was instructed that it is not to be considered, so it is not part of the findings," he said today.

A judge in October said Mrs. Barnett, who did not want to testify against her husband, can't be forced to do so.

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