- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 27, 2017

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A western Iowa school district’s investigation of its superintendent has been completed and no disciplinary action will take place.

Sioux City School District’s former finance director John Chalstrom accused Superintendent Paul Gausman earlier this year of creating a hostile workplace and threatening his job if he shared alternative budget proposals with school board members outside regular board meetings, the Sioux City Journal reported (https://bit.ly/2scDqLv ).

The investigation into the allegations is complete, unless new information arises, school board president Mike Krysl said.

The board looked at the merits of each allegation that was raised, he said.

“(The public) can rest assured that the board did take this seriously and undertook a fact-finding mission of its own. … We don’t think it is necessary to take any other action,” Krysl said.

Chalstrom’s concerns were raised at a board member meeting in February. A few days after the meeting, Chalstrom was placed on administrative leave.

The board approved a settlement agreement with Chalstrom in April. The settlement allows him to remain on paid administrative leave until the expiration of his contract on June 30 and awards him about $35,000 in severance pay through Sept. 30.

The board hired Patricia Blankenship on Monday as the new finance director. She’ll take over July 1.

Blankenship graduated from Iowa State University and was most recently was an accountant at the accounting firm of King, Reinsch, Prosser & Co.

Board member David Gleiser said he had some doubts because Blankenship hasn’t previously worked for a school district. But Gausman and board member John Meyers said that for a decade, she has audited Sioux City School District financials and is a highly qualified certified public accountant.

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Information from: Sioux City Journal, https://www.siouxcityjournal.com

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