NEWS 10 Investigates: Acting Superintendent of Lansing School District takes leave of absence amid controversy
The Acting Superintendent of the Lansing School District, Dr. Mark Coscarella, is taking a leave of absence, while the district investigates allegations of sexual misconduct against him.
The district sent out a press release Thursday evening saying Dr. Delsa Chapman has been named Interim Acting Superintendent.
Dr. Coscarella's leave of absence is described by the district as a "voluntary paid non-disciplinary administrative leave until further notice." He is a front-runner to permanently replace Retired Superintendent Yvonne Caamal Canul.
Casey Sterle, who is now a teacher in Leslie, says she was a student teacher in Coscarella's classroom when he locked her in the room alone and danced for her in his underwear.
Two years later, Coscarella resigned from Holt Schools after a pornographic video was shown on a baseball team trip. Coscarella was the team’s coach. Police questioned members of the team. Some players told investigators that Coscarella knew about the video. Others claimed he provided it.
In a statement released by the school district Thursday, Coscarella said, “Today I have voluntarily requested the Lansing Board of Education place me on paid administrative leave from the Lansing School District while an investigation focused on the false allegation about me is underway,” Coscarella said. “I have asked … for leave because it is important for the district and Board of Education to continue their mission without distractions while I work around the clock to clear my name and prove my innocence. My lawyers are pursuing litigation for libel and slander against me.”
The Board of Education approved a resolution at a meeting Thursday that reads in part: “Placement on paid administrative leave does not assume guilt on your (Dr. Coscarella) part. Paid administrative leave will facilitate a prompt and thorough investigation while also protecting your interests during the investigation by affording you an opportunity to focus on responding to the allegations. It is my understanding (Board President Rachel Willis) that you agree placement on paid administrative leave will serve the interests of the District and you pending the outcome of the independent investigation … You may be asked during the term of this paid administrative leave to appear for interviews or to provide information periodically throughout the process until the investigation is complete and a determination is made.”
Dr. Delsa Chapman has been employed in the Lansing School District for more than 28 years and has been the Deputy Superintendent, has served as the Assistant Superintendent for Student Learning, Director of the Magnet school program, principal and teacher.
To view the full Board of Education statement, go online to www.Lansingschools.net
To view the full Board of Education statement, click on the link included with this article.
LinksLansing School District website
School Board waiting on Superintendent Search Evaluation
Final community input session regarding allegations against Dr. Mark Coscarella
Former Superintendent apologizes for "lapse in judgement"
Ex-Superintendent attacks Coscarella's accuser
News 10 Investigation: Questions raised about Acting Superintendent