A spokesman for an Illinois superintendent search firm issued a brief response Monday to news that the Fayette County school board had terminated its contract.
When the board voted Sunday to end its contract with PROACT Search, school board chairman John Price said board members had concerns about allegations against PROACT's CEO Gary Solomon that came to light last week in an article in the Chicago Sun-Times.
The article said that about 15 years ago, Solomon, in an Illinois school district where he taught, faced allegations of making racial slurs and sending inappropriate emails to a female student.
"We are disappointed that Fayette County has decided to terminate our contract based on old allegations," Dennis Culloton, a spokesman for PROACT, said in a statement Monday.
"No law enforcement authority of any kind ever substantiated any misconduct. Mr. Solomon apologizes and deeply regrets his statements of many years ago and stands by the outstanding work that PROACT has provided to this Board of Education and others."
The Sun-Times also previously reported that Solomon's principal-training company is under federal criminal scrutiny for a deal with Chicago Public Schools.
The Fayette County school board Monday decided to meet from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Saturday to discuss hiring a new firm to help with the search for a new superintendent to replace Tom Shelton, who resigned in December.
Board members are looking for a new firm to vet candidates and to accept new applications. The firms that have expressed interest in working with the board are local, state and national, board members said at a Monday meeting.
Board members want to hire a new superintendent by July.
On another front, the school board will meet from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday to discuss the redistricting committee's proposal to redraw attendance zones in Fayette County.
Board members have said they expect to take a final vote on the plan in late May.