TribLIVE

| News

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Wife of suspended Penn Hills principal will not have to testify against him

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, 1:06 p.m.
 

The wife of a suspended Penn Hills middle school principal will not have to testify against him at an administrative hearing before the school board, an Allegheny County judge ruled on Wednesday.

Common Pleas Judge Judith L.A. Friedman quashed a subpoena requiring Lisa Barnett, the wife of Linton Middle School Principal Davaun Barnett, to attend the hearing on Wednesday evening.

The Penn Hills School Board suspended Barnett without pay in June, a month after his wife filed a protection-from-abuse order against him.

Representing herself before Friedman, LisaBarnett said, “the statute is clear. One spouse cannot be forced to testify against another.”

In the May 7 request, Barnett, a law professor at Duquesne University, said her husband locked her in the couple's family room, then, when he released her, told her to get out of the house.

“He told me that if I did not get out of our home, I would ‘wake up in a pool of my own blood' because he said he was going to ‘slit' my throat,” she said. She said she stayed in her children's room until the next morning because “he kicked me in my back out the bed and spit on me.”

The order alleged that Davaun Barnett came to his wife's class and had to be escorted from the building by university police.

He has denied the allegations. He declined comment on Friedman's ruling and said the hearing “is a private matter.”

“It's closed. It's not open for the public. I chose a private hearing just so I don't have to take my wife, myself and my kids through any issues.”

Lisa Barnett could not be reached for comment after her court appearance.

An Allegheny County judge on May 15 vacated the protection-from-abuse order and instructedBarnett not to harass, stalk, abuse or threaten his wife; not to visit their home for 90 days; to complete an anger management course; and to obtain mental health treatment. The judge ordered the couple to share custody of their two sons, ages 14 and 12.

In August, the school board accused Barnett of neglecting his duties as principal, immorality, cruelty and violations of school policies and school laws of Pennsylvania. In addition to his wife's accusations, the board said he failed to return $300 from a school fundraiser and didn't follow procedure during a bomb threat.

The board said that if the details in the protection order are true, they offend “the morals of the community and set a bad example for the students in the Penn Hills School District whose ideals you are supposed to foster and elevate.”

Ira Weiss, an attorney hired by the school board to run the hearing, said he did not know when the board would make a decision to keep or fire Barnett. Superintendent Thomas K.Washington did not return calls, and district spokeswoman Teresita Kolenchak said the district wouldn't comment on a personnel or legal matter. Members of the school board either did not return calls or could not be reached.

Penn Hills hired Barnett in 2011 at an annual salary of $101,500.

Adam Brandolph is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-391-0927 or abrandolph@tribweb.com.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Pirates notebook: Melancon bails out Watson with extended outing
  2. Steelers’ Bell unsure why NFL reduced his suspension
  3. McCutchen, Pirates cruise past Twins
  4. NHL notebook: Olympic hockey champion Craig to sell prized memorabilia items
  5. Mt. Pleasant Cemetery Association seeks aid to finance future upkeep
  6. Gameday: Pirates at Reds, July 30, 2015
  7. Fed holds steady on rates
  8. Chiefs star Berry beats cancer, returns to field
  9. Beaver County widow won’t lose home over $6.30 late fee
  10. Folding chair collapses, child loses tips of at least 2 fingers in Arlington
  11. Steelers unfazed by Brady suspension saga