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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Lombardi, Plagman investigated by state board

The Iowa Board of Educational Examiners has been conducting an investigation of Tony Lombardi, the Cedar Rapids Washington High School teacher and coach who has been accused by Washington parents of mistreating their children.

The board also has been investigating Dr. Ralph Plagman, the Washington principal who has been accused by Washington parents of not dealing effectively with their complaints about Lombardi.

The Metro Sports Report has obtained copies of letters that were sent from the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners to Kathi Jensen, one of the Washington parents who is involved with the formal complaint against Lombardi. The parents have charged Lombardi with verbal abuse of their children and unprofessional behavior.

The Washington parents originally took their complaints to Dr. Plagman and subsequently complained to the Cedar Rapids Community School district. The district investigated the complaints last year and ordered Lombardi to undergo "remediation" last spring, but did not suspend or fire him.

The Washington parents then filed a complaint with the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners in Des Moines. The complaint was filed on June 14, 2012, according to a copy of a document that was sent from the board to Jensen.

Jensen was notified in a letter dated Nov. 14, 2012 that the deadline for conducting the investigation had been extended for 180 days. The letter refers to the matter of Tony Lombardi, Respondent, Case No. 12-78, License No. 970544.

The letter was signed by Duane T. Magee, executive director of the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners.

"Investigation of the allegations in the complaint is ongoing," Magee informed Jensen in the Nov. 14 letter. "The Board, on its own motion, hereby extends the 180-day time limit for issuance of the final decision in case 12-78, based upon the extraordinary amount of time necessary to complete the investigation."

The 180-day extension is set to expire in mid-May.

Magee declined comment Wednesday when contacted by the Metro Sports Report, citing the confidentiality of all investigations.

"I can't confirm or deny that we have any complaint in front of us and (that) it relates to anyone named Lombardi," he said.

Lombardi did not return a phone call from the Metro Sports Report as of 4 p.m. on Wednesday.

Dr. Plagman responded by email Wednesday that "All investigations conducted by the BOEE are confidential."

Earlier in the week, Dr. Plagman responded in an e-mail from the Metro Sports Report by stating there had not been any changes in Lombardi's status as the Washington baseball coach. Lombardi is also the head football coach at Washington.

The board's investigation of Dr. Plagman also was extended on Nov. 14, 2012 for 180 days. The investigation of Dr. Plagman is referred to as Ralph Plagman, Respondent, Case No. 12-79, License No. 100156.

The copy of the board document declares that the Respondent (Dr. Plagman) objected to the extension of the 180-day time limit.

Lombardi was suspended from one football game during the 2012 season after he made an inappropriate remark to a Cedar Rapids Prairie football player after a game. Lombardi apologized for his actions and accepted the penalty.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 17 April 2013 16:21 )  

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