By Chris McGuinness
Killeen Daily Herald
Two days after a closed-session meeting to discuss his employment and residency, Killeen Independent School District Deputy Superintendent Bobby Ott resigned Wednesday.
A late-afternoon news release from the district stated that Ott, who was hired in 2009 as the district's second-highest administrator, submitted a letter of resignation, effective at the end of his contract in June.
"(Ott's) departure is prompted by a change in personal circumstances. We wish him well in his future endeavors," said Robert Muller, the district's superintendent, in a statement. "The district has benefitted from his leadership over the past three years."
Ott's resignation comes on the heels of a meeting Monday - a district holiday - by the school board. The members met in closed session to discuss matters relating to Ott's "employment and residency," according to the meeting's agenda.
Ron Rainosek, the board's president, said he could not talk about what was discussed at the meeting or comment on whether Ott's impending resignation came up in those discussions.
"It's my understanding that he is (resigning) in the best interest of his family," said Rainosek Wednesday night. "That's something I can respect."
Ott did not return a message Wednesday night seeking comment.
The special board meeting and Ott's subsequent resignation come just over a week after the Herald reported details of an online conversation between the deputy superintendent and Harker Heights resident Barbara Schindler.
In the written exchanges, Ott asked to use Schindler's home address as his residence for district purposes and requested multiple times that she keep the matter quiet.
A clause in Ott's employment contract requires him to live within the school district.
In a Herald interview, Ott said he asked to use Schindler's address because he was considering a "dual-residency" situation due to changes at his wife's job that would cause a longer commute for her.
On Wednesday, Rainosek said he couldn't say whether the situation with Ott's wife's commute was the "change in personal circumstances" alluded to in the news release.
"I think he based the decision on concerns for the best interest of his family," said Rainosek. "I don't know what his thoughts were."
Rainosek confirmed that he had received "input" from members of the community regarding Ott's conversation with Schindler but declined to comment on their nature. He said he could not speak for other members of the school board.
Rainosek also declined to comment on whether the revelation of the online conversation played a role in calling the special meeting or Ott's decision to resign.
"I don't think it had anything to do with that," said Rainosek. "I guess I would say that I don't know."
After Ott leaves in June, Rainosek said it would be up to Muller to find his replacement.
Contact Chris McGuinness at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7568.