Austintown superintendent alleges threat

AUSTINTOWN – The superintendent of schools filed a police report last month claiming that he was threatened by a board member.

The report is part of why the Austintown Board of Education held a closed-door meeting this week for the ”investigation of charges or complaints against a public employee / official” and ”to confer with an attorney for the board concerning disputes involving the board that are subject of pending or imminent court action.”

In the report filed Oct. 29, Vincent Colaluca stated he was threatened by board member Harold Porter in the elementary school cafeteria after an Oct. 22 board meeting.

Colaluca states he was talking to several other people and was unable to hear what Porter said. Colaluca said that board member David Ritchie, who walked Porter out of the cafeteria, told Colaluca two days later that Porter had made a threat and that was why he walked him out of the room.

Ritchie refused to comment on the matter Friday, stating, “The board has already gone to a committee and it will be decided there, as far as either Mr. Colaluca or the other board member.”

No criminal charges will be pursued by the prosecutor at the time of the filing, the report states.

Ritchie said he does not know when any action will be taken by the board regarding the dispute.

Board president David Schnurrenberger has also said he cannot comment.

“We met in executive session and the board will be investigating respective complaints, and to ensure the integrity of the process, the board will not discuss further in public until the investigation is concluded,” he said.

Porter has said the wording of the dispute for the purpose of the meeting may make people think more of it than it really is.

“It’s a couple of things that we’re trying to iron out and we’re trying to do it by proper channels,” he said, and also has declined to specify the nature of his allegations.

Colaluca said that both he and Porter were excused from part of the meeting as members of the board conferred.

“They’re in the process of evaluating their options and that’s what they’re doing; that’s all I know,” Colaluca said.