Community members demand answers after Juniata County superintendent resigns

"There’s just something behind this that seems very fishy,” said community member Garth Brackbill.

“Something smells funny,” said Ronnie Brown, another community member.

That’s the consensus among much of the crowd at the Juniata County School Board meeting Thursday night, after Superintendent Keith Yarger announced he will resign in April.

“Any kind of good conscience or good character would at least give us a public comment as to why he’s leaving, and he didn’t, he just took off,” said Brown.

“The sudden resignation and the things that were built into the employment agreement that I have a copy of lead me to believe that a resignation is for very questionable circumstances,” said Paula Lauver, another community member.

The resignation comes about a year after a controversial decision to approve a multi-million dollar consolidation project involving the elementary schools, but it is unclear at this point if that plays a role in Yarger’s departure.

The board avoided speaking with media directly, but they did read statement at the beginning of the meeting.

The statement, though, did not offer many answers as to why Yarger is leaving.

“Every concern is given appropriate inquiry. Sometimes that inquiry and the resolution are entirely public, other times for a number of reasons, and investigation and resolution must be done confidentiality,” said board president Danny Synder.

Juniata County District Attorney Cory Snook released a statement to Fox 43 earlier in the day, explaining the Pennsylvania State Police were asked to look into the events surrounding Yarger’s resignation after several parents and community members expressed concern.

In the statement, he adds, "We can not and will not prosecute any case based on rumors and innuendo.”

The public, though, say they just want the answers they, as taxpayers, deserve.

“What needs to happen is the board needs to answer for him now,” said Brown.

“A complete, independent, full investigation,” said Lauver.

“Just the truth. Get the truth out,” said Brackbill.

State police say their investigation is just beginning.

A trooper from the department tells us they reached out to those who may have information, but were declined interviews until Yarger’s resignation becomes official in April.

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