St. Joseph School District Administrator Claims He Is Not An FBI Target

Feb 12, 2015

St. Joseph School District COO Rick Hartigan is on paid administrative leave.
Credit Sam Zeff / KCUR

The No. 2 person in the St. Joseph School District, who is now on administrative leave, claims he is not the target of an ongoing FBI investigation of the district.

Soon after the school board reviewed a draft report from the Missouri auditor, it voted to place Superintendent Fred Czerwonka and COO Rick Hartigan on paid administrative leave. According to people who have seen it, the report is “scathing”.

On Thursday, Hartigan fired back. With his lawyer at his side, Hartigan, who has been with the district for 26 years, says he’s been humiliated by the school board and has done nothing illegal.

“I can positively tell you I am not a target of the FBI investigation. Let me repeat that, I am not a target of the FBI investigation,” he said in a statement he read in his lawyer's office.

"I have reached out to every law enforcement agency I can think of, including the FBI, the United States attorney, the St. Joseph Police Department and the Buchanan County Prosecutor."

The FBI won't comment on ongoing investigations. 

FBI agents routinely attend St. Joseph School Board meetings. The FBI opened its investigation last April.

The Missouri auditor's report will be released Tuesday at 5 p.m. at a public meeting at the Oak Grove Elementary School.