JEFFERSON COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — A co-principal at Punxsutawney Area High School who was recently sentenced on DUI charges and PFA violations is now accused of sexually harassing a school employee.
In an amended statement of charges issued by the school board during a meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 24, Paul Hetrick, 45, allegedly made several inappropriate comments toward a female employee in the Fall of 2022. The school board claimed Hetrick made comments about the employee’s appearance and during one incident told her to “flash” another principal to get his attention.
The statement of charges further explained Hetricks behavior had made the employee uncomfortable to the point she left her employment at the school.
At tonight’s board meeting, the school board noted 8-0 to approve the amended Statement of Charges related to the dismissal of Paul Hetrick. The reason for the amendment is that subsequent to the January 6, 2023 board meeting, where the initial Statement of Charges was approved, a final decision was issued with respect to Title IX Sexaul Harassment allegations made against Mr. Hetrick. The Statement of Charges was thereafter amended to add the charges related to the Title IX matter.Statement from the Punxsutawney Area School Board
The accusations come ahead of a scheduled hearing on Monday, Feb. 13 where the school board will determine if Hetrick will be dismissed as principal. School Board President Matt Kengersky previously explained the statement of charges was not a vote to dismiss Hetrick but to begin the dismissal process.
Hetrick was placed on administrative paid leave by the district on Dec. 13, 2022 and instructed the he was not permitted on school property or permitted to attend school events outside the district. The school board said Hetrick violated the district’s order on Dec. 16, 2022 when he attended a Punxsutawney boys basketball game at the Bradford Area School District.
The school board further claimed Hetrick gave false statements about his PFA violations to the district during its investigation and stated he did not receive his administrative leave letter. The board noted Hetrick left a voicemail with the district on Dec. 14, 2022 acknowledging he received the leave letter.
Hetrick has the option to request a private or public hearing and has the right to be represented by an attorney, according to the statement of charges.