CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. — The Jefferson County Board of Education has voted to open an ethics investigation into whether a member of the board breached a confidentiality agreement during the school system’s search for a new superintendent.

On Monday, Board President Kathryn Skinner proposed the investigation, saying, “I am excited and grateful we have found a strong superintendent in Dr. (Chuck) Bishop. Still, she noted her disappointment about  reports that someone on the board may have leaked the name prior to the announcement.

“The search firm that we hired had each board member sign a confidentiality agreement prior to releasing the names of the candidates to us,” Skinner explained at Monday’s meeting.  “Between the time of the interviews and the announcement of the name of the successful candidate, there was a breach of confidentiality by a board member.”

“This had the potential to disrupt the process and put the board and all candidates in a very bad position,” Skinner continued.

She explained the board endeavored to give Bishop a chance to let his current school system colleagues a chance to give notice of his departure “in his own voice.”

“Meanwhile, we had members here in Jefferson County in our community sharing the name of the successful candidate prior to the public announcement.”

Skinner then called for an investigation by the West Virginia Ethics Commission into the alleged breach of confidentiality.  The board approved the motion by a 3-2 vote.

 Dr. William “Chuck” Bishop, Ed.D. replaces Dr. Bondy Shay Gibson Learn, who had been at the helm of  Jefferson County Schools since 2015.