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Fired Arlington athletic director plans to fight dismissal

Posted by Brock Parker  April 23, 2013 03:07 PM

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After a string of forfeitures by sports teams at Arlington High School, the school district has fired embattled athletic director, Ted Dever, who now plans to file a grievance against the district.

“Unfortunately, at this point in time it looks to me like another situation of protracted litigation,” said Rick Grundy, the attorney representing Dever this week.

Dever, of Winchester, had been the athletic director for Arlington Public Schools since 2007 and was notified in late March that he was being terminated, Grundy said.

Robert Spiegel, the human resources director for Arlington Public Schools, said Dever was taken off of the district’s payroll as of March 22 and the school district is beginning its search to find a full-time replacement. He would not comment on why Dever was removed from the payroll.

Dever had been on paid administrative leave since August 2012 amid an ongoing criminal inquiry, the details of which have not been made public. Arlington Police Captain Richard Flynn said Tuesday that the investigation is ongoing.

Arlington Public Schools initiated efforts to fire Dever last November, but the athletic director and his attorney fought back saying the reasons suggested for his dismissal, such as a claim that Dever hadn’t printed out sports schedules in three years, were unfounded.

Then in December Arlington Public Schools announced that ineligible players participated on 12 different teams in the 2011-2012 school year during Dever’s tenure as athletic director. As a result, eight teams had to forfeit games. Four teams, including the fall 2011 varsity and junior varsity boys soccer teams, the spring 2012 boys varsity tennis team, and the spring girls junior varsity softball team, had to forfeit all of their wins for their season.

The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association said it had never heard of so many teams from one school forfeiting games. Some of the players were ineligible because of their grades and some foreign exchange students did not have the needed waivers, according to the school district. The athletic association praised the work of acting Arlington Athletic Director Robert DiLoreto for uncovering and acting on the rule violations.

After the forfeitures were announced, Grundy said Arlington Superintendent of Schools Kathleen Bodie came forward with new issues to dismiss Dever.

Grundy said some of the reasons Bodie gave for firing Dever were related to the forfeitures, but the attorney declined to comment on what all of the superintendents reasons were.

Bodie said Tuesday afternoon that she could not comment on the personnel matter.

Grundy said Dever had a hearing on the new issues in March. Bodie determined there was no merit to dismiss Dever over the reasons first suggested by the school district in November, but fired him for the second round of issues, said Grundy.

Grundy said Dever has never been charged in the ongoing police investigation, and he doesn’t know the status of the probe. He said Dever had some tremendous accomplishments as Arlington’s athletic director, including being at the helm when the school district moved from the Greater Boston League to the Middlesex League.

“This is a guy who loves his job and was well-liked in his position,” Grundy said.

Spiegel said Arlington will be posting the athletic director position soon and hopes to have the new director in place before the start of the next school year.

--brock.globe@gmail.com

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