ShareThis Page

Police investigate allegations, clear suspended Plum teacher of criminal wrongdoing

| Thursday, March 1, 2018, 2:15 p.m.
Drew Zoldak in 2016.
File photo
Drew Zoldak in 2016.

The teacher who was acquitted of witness intimidation charges during the Plum High School sex scandal was cleared by police of criminal wrongdoing after an investigation of unspecified allegations made against him recently.

Drew Zoldak has been on paid leave since Feb. 28, his attorney said. Al Lindsay added he has not spoken with his client or received anything from the district about the allegations of policy violations that led to his suspension.

School board President Steve Schlauch said Zoldak would remain on paid leave while the district continues its investigation into the alleged violations. The internal investigation was ongoing.

Acting Superintendent Gail Yamnitzky would not comment beyond what she said in an announcement about the allegations posted on the district website the afternoon Zoldak was suspended.

“It was reported to administration and immediately reported to law enforcement,” Yamnitzky wrote. “Educating our children in a safe and secure environment remains our most important priority. Therefore, this report was acted upon swiftly and thoroughly. All of our campuses continue to maintain the highest levels of safety and security.”

Yamnitzky did not identify Zoldak or the nature of the violation. Plum police Chief Jeff Armstrong said investigation of the allegations against Zoldak were turned over to the Allegheny County Police Department.

“Based on our investigation to date, there is no indication of any criminal activity in this matter, nor will any criminal charges be filed at this time,” county police Superintendent Coleman McDonough said in a release March 1. “Our investigation is closed, and the matter has been referred back to Plum School District officials for their disposition.”

Armstrong was named in a civil rights lawsuit Zoldak filed against Plum borough and its police department after a jury in 2016 found him not guilty of charges that he intimidated a female student who had accused another teacher of having sex with her. That lawsuit is ongoing.

Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-871-2367, or via Twitter @MikeJdiVittorio.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me