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Meyersdale school board takes no action on superintendent’s charges; Karlie apologizes

October 4, 2018

In its first public meeting since DUI charges were filed against its superintendent, the Meyersdale Area school board took no disciplinary action Wednesday night. The board didn’t discuss the matter publicly either.

Meyersdale Superintendent Tracey Karlie was charged Monday with driving under the influence and summary offenses for an Aug. 25 incident in which Karlie wrecked his truck into a tree along Matlick Road in Summit Township. A blood test indicated that he had a blood alcohol content of 0.20 percent — more than twice the legal limit of 0.08, according to state police.

Karlie apologized in a written statement.

“As a leader in our school district, I recognize that my position is held to a higher standard and I apologize to all who I serve in our district and around the county,” the statement reads. “I am thankful that no one was involved in the accident and that no one was hurt. I am sorry I have caused a distraction to our students, staff and community with these circumstances. It should not take away from the great things going on in the district. My goal is to turn this experience into an opportunity to help others to make better choices.”

Karlie said after Wednesday’s meeting that he had nothing else to add.

School board President Ron Donaldson deferred comment about the incident to district solicitor Jennifer Dambeck, of Beard Legal Group in Altoona. Donaldson said that the situation is still “very preliminary” and that the board will continue to move forward as more information becomes available.

Dambeck, who attended Wednesday’s meeting, said the board wants to give Karlie his due process before making any decisions about his position.

“Obviously the district takes these allegations very seriously,” she said. “The district is going to closely monitor the situation.

“It’s still so early that we are looking into the information as well.”

Before the start of the meeting, the board held a roughly 20-minute executive session, or closed-door meeting, for personnel reasons. Karlie attended that session, but neither Donaldson nor Dambeck would say if he was discussed at that time.

Karlie has been superintendent of Meyersdale since 2008 when he replaced retiring Superintendent Curtis Kerns.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9:15 a.m. Nov. 1 before New Centerville District Judge Sandra Stevanus.

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