MV super; ex-teacher charged

ANDREW CHICHURA

BY STACI WILSON

Mountain View Superintendent Andrew Chichura faces a criminal charge of not reporting suspected child abuse in connection with a high school graduation party last June.

The charge was filed Tuesday, Jan. 10, in Clifford District Court by Tpr. John Oliver.

A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Jan. 31.

According to police, High School Principal Andrew Doster advised the

BRYAN HOOVER

superintendent that aMountain Viewmusic teacher provided two, 17-year-old students on June 11 with alcohol and Chichura failed to contact authorities within 48 hours, as required by law.

The teacher, Bryan Hoover, 25,Mansfield, is no longer employed by theMountain ViewSchool District.

Hooveralso was charged Wednesday in Brainard’s court with corruption of minors, recklessly endangering another person and selling or furnishing alcohol to a minor in connection with the incident.

A preliminary hearing forHooveralso has been scheduled for Jan. 31.

According to the affidavit, Doster told police in mid-June he had heard “rumors” that a teacher was drinking with students but said he did not know the names of the people involved at that time.

He also told police he would make the proper notifications if he obtained any names.

On Nov. 17, according to the affidavit, Doster sent the information to the Susquehanna County District Attorney’s office regarding a teacher drinking with and providing alcohol to students on June 11.

District Attorney Jason Legg forwarded the information to the Gibson State Police barracks and requested an investigation be started into the matter.

Tpr. John Oliver interviewed Doster atMountain ViewHigh Schoolon Nov. 18.

According to police, Doster explained he found out in June the rumors that had circulated were true.

Doster told police that an 18-year-old female who had just graduated and three 17-year-old males went to Hoover’s apartment, located above the Marten Creek Switch Shoppe, on Rt. 11, inLathropTownship, following the high school graduation ceremony.

The principal told police that two of the 17-year-old males drank mixed drinks, which were provided byHoover.

Doster also said the parents of the students were advised later of the situation.

According to the affidavit, Doster told police he also confrontedHooverabout the allegations and that the teacher admitted they were true.

Doster told police he then immediately notified Chichura who was to then notify police.

According to the affidavit, Doster told police he asked the superintendent multiple times throughout the summer if the police had been notified.

The principal told police that Chichura never gave him a straight answer but at one point Doster said Chichura told him thatHooverdid not even live inSusquehannaCounty.

Doster said Chichura never indicated that he reported the incident to police and so after school started in the fall, the principal notified the district attorney of the matter.

Tpr. Oliver also met with Chichura in the Mountain View Administration Office.

The superintendent told Tpr. Oliver thatHooverhad been one of the teachers furloughed at the end of the 2010-11 school year but was still an employee at the time of the June 11 incident.

According to the affidavit, Chichura told the officer that the incident was a “minor mistake” and thatHoover“just needed a good scaring.”

Chichura also told Tpr. Oliver that he had reported the incident to authorities inWyomingCounty.

Police met withHooveronNov. 22, 2011, at the Towanda State Police barracks.

According to the affidavit,Hooversaid he was drunk when the students arrived and that he gave them mixed drinks.

Hooveralso told police that he had been questioned by Doster about the incident and admitted what had happened.

According to the affidavit,Hooveralso said Chichura had sent him a letter of reprimand for his actions.

The letter of reprimand from Chichura, dated Aug. 22, 2011, states that Hoover broke the law with his actions, according to the affidavit, and shows the superintendent was fully aware that Hoover furnished alcohol to the teens while he was still a district employee.

Tpr. Oliver stated in the complaint that the Tunkhannock State Police barracks had been contacted and that there is no record that Chichura ever reported the crime to that agency.

Police asked Chichura to supply a timeline of his actions regarding the school district’s handling of the matter prior to the school’s Christmas break.

When Tpr. Oliver had not heard back from the superintendent when classes resumed in January, he went to the district but was told Chichura was not able to meet with him at that time.

The trooper requested Chichura call him but the superintendent did not return the investigator’s message.

Pennsylvania Law pertaining to the mandatory reporting of child abuse by an institution in charge requires a person to report the crime within 48 hours of the incident being brought to the person’s attention.

According to police, Chichura never reported the crime to any law enforcement agency.

The 69-year-old Chichura told school board members at an Oct. 10 work session which failed to draw a board quorum that he would be stepping down from the superintendent’s post when his contract expired on June 30.

The board accepted his resignation at the Oct. 17 meeting and began a search for a new district superintendent.

Chichura has twice held the position of superintendent in the Mountain View School District, 1984-1996 and then returning as the acting superintendent in 2006. He was officially contracted for another five years onJuly 1, 2007.

James Zick, president of the Mountain View School Board said Thursday night, that he was aware there had been an incident involving a music teacher who had been furloughed and was no longer a district employee, but he was unfamiliar with any pending charges related to the incident.

He noted that the board was actively reviewing applications for Chichura’s replacement.