Accusations against Lakota Schools leader unfounded, investigation shows

A report from a private investigation firm found allegations against the superintendent of Lakota Schools were unfounded, echoing findings of an earlier investigation by Butler County Sheriff’s detectives.

The report, which was initiated last month and paid for by the Lakota Board of Education, states “there is no evidence that Matt Miller used a work device to arrange, facilitate or view any sexual activity.”

The Nov. 3 report, which was obtained Friday through an Ohio public records request by the Journal-News, was read in part by Lakota Board of Education President Lynda O’Connor during the public portion of an emergency Lakota school board meeting earlier this week.

That meeting included the announcement that Miller - and the board that oversees his work – has agreed for him to undergo a “fitness for duty” evaluation in the wake of being cleared of allegations, which were found by Sheriff detectives to be non-criminal accusations.

Such an evaluation is not an uncommon option for school boards to periodically utilize in many public school superintendent employment contracts.

ExploreLakota superintendent cleared in investigation but agrees to undergo ‘fitness for duty’ evaluation

According to the report from the national employment law firm Jackson Lewis P.C., its investigator has come to a similar conclusion, according to a written report submitted by Daniel Rosenthal, an employee with the company.

“The forensic examiner examined Miller’s phone, laptop, work desktop and work laptop,” wrote Rosenthal.

“He examined the cloud storage (Google and Apple) for all of these devices and additionally examined Miller’s email accounts and the cloud backups for Miller’s earlier phone and an IPad pro.”

“The (school) board requested that I investigate two issues: 1. Does Matt Miller pose any risk to the children in the district? 2. Did Matt Miller violate any policy of the district? I interpreted issue 2 consistent with issue 1. In other words, did Miller violate any policy relating to children or did he use any work device for anything sexual?”

“I talked to all witnesses with potentially pertinent evidence who would talk to me. I reviewed all documents that were potentially relevant to the issues under investigation,” stated Rosenthal.

Rosenthal also wrote: “Miller was cooperative. He and his lawyer met with me twice. He turned over his devices to the forensic examiner and allowed review of them and the cloud storage relating to the devices.”

“He also allowed review of his email accounts. He told the police he would take a polygraph (this did not occur).”

The investigator also said he is “reasonably confident” any evidence supporting allegations against Miller “would have shown up … given the scope of the forensic examination.”

Miller has declined to comment recently beyond his previous statements characterizing allegations against him as “false” and unfounded attempts to ruin his reputation.

Instead, this week he has deferred to his attorney, Elizabeth Tuck, who told the Journal-News Miller was pleased with the results of the private investigation and that “he has been cleared now twice of these outrageous, defamatory accusations.”

“He has been cooperating one hundred percent throughout this process,” and Tuck described the allegations as “quite simply a witch hunt and we hope it is over.”

Miller was previously superintendent of Mentor Schools in northern Ohio before being hire by Lakota in 2017.

Documents obtained through an Ohio Public Records request in September by the Journal-News revealed no written reprimands or criticism of Miller by the Mentor Board of Education or any notations of concerns about his leadership during his years there.

(Editor’s note: Because no charges have been filed against Lakota Superintendent Matt Miller, nor have any detailed accusations been made public by the district, the Journal-News is not reporting details regarding the allegations.)

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