Northeastern mum on superintendent facing felonies
In the weeks following Northeastern Superintendent Shawn Minnich's Dec. 4 arrest on felony charges of burglary and criminal trespass, district officials have been silent about his status.
At the time, school board members and Minnich did not return calls for comment on the charges filed after he allegedly broke into his estranged wife's home, threatened her and assaulted her boyfriend. Board President Margie Walker declined to comment on whether the superintendent was still on the job; she instead referred questions to the district's solicitor, who did not return a phone call for comment.
The Northeastern School District did post this statement on its website in December: "Under the advice of our solicitor, the district has no public comment with regard to the charges filed against our superintendent. This is a personnel matter and the district remains committed to providing the best possible education to every student."
However, the 44-year-old Minnich has attended two board meetings since his arrest, including Monday's regularly scheduled meeting. His arrest and status with the district was not addressed at either meeting, but on Monday he appeared to be working with board members as usual.
After the meeting, Minnich said he was unable to comment on the charges. Walker, the board president, again declined to comment about his case.
Minnich, of 30 Nursery Road in Dover Township, is charged with felony counts of burglary and criminal trespass, as well as the misdemeanor offenses of simple assault, reckless endangerment, and criminal mischief, and summary harassment, according to charging documents filed Dec. 5.
Northeastern Regional Police officers responded shortly after 9:30 p.m. Dec. 4 to the 200 block of Poplar Lane in East Manchester Township for reports of a domestic disturbance. There, they found Minnich and arrested him, documents state.
Minnich's wife and her boyfriend told officers that Minnich had started banging on the front door and ringing the doorbell repeatedly, according to charging documents. Everyone in the house, including Minnich's children, moved back into one of the bedrooms toward the back of the home, police say.
Minnich went around the back of the home and looked in through the back door, according to documents. His wife saw him and told him to leave or else she'd call the police, documents state.
Instead of leaving, Minnich picked up patio furniture and use it to smash through the glass door, shattering one of its panes, police say. Minnich's estranged wife and her boyfriend called 911 as Minnich went around to the front of the house and broke in through the front door, according to documents.
Dispatchers told police they heard a man yell "You're f—ing dead!" as Minnich's estranged wife and her boyfriend were on the phone with 911, documents state.
Once inside, Minnich shoved his wife and attacked the boyfriend, choking him and punching him, police allege.
The boyfriend told police he was worried Minnich was going to try to kill everyone; Minnich's wife said much the same, according to documents.
After he was arrested, Minnich told police he was there to see his kids, and that he saw his wife and her boyfriend together through the glass door he later allegedly smashed.
Minnich told police he knows what he did is wrong, and he didn't have an explanation for breaking in, according to documents.
His preliminary hearing is set for 1 p.m. Feb. 3, according to online court records.
— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at firstname.lastname@example.org.