Former Wayne Township Schools Chief Operations Officer John Maples gets payout despite allegations

John Maples received $63,000 in fall 2010

INDIANAPOLIS - Wayne Township Schools' former chief operations officer was never disciplined by the district and collected more than $63,000 in retirement benefits despite an internal investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct with a student, the Call 6 Investigators have learned.

John Maples, 61, was arrested Friday on seven felony counts of child seduction stemming from accusations he had a sexual relationship with a then-17-year old student.

Maples was interviewed in November 2010 by fellow district officials, but he retired shortly after the interview.

He and 63 other employees received a $35,000 early retirement incentive, and Maples also received $11,913 for unused sick days and $16,492 for longevity benefits.

"Following Indiana statute, all teachers and administrators who are covered through the 2004 pension bond qualify for longevity and severance benefits upon retirement," district spokeswoman Mary Lang wrote in an email to Call 6 Investigator Kara Kenney.
           
Lang said if employees are terminated, they forgo retirement benefits.
           
According to the probable cause affidavit, Maples began a relationship with the girl in 2009, when she was a 16-year-old junior at Ben Davis University High School.
           
Police said Maples gave the girl a job mowing grass at the school without an application or interview process.
           
According to the probable cause affidavit, the relationship turned sexual in spring 2010, when the girl was a 17-year-old senior.

"She claims that the physical nature of their relationship began with kissing and fondling at John Maples's residence," read the affidavit, which indicated Maples home at the time was next to the high school.
           
After numerous sexual encounters, in November 2010 the girl notified Director of Elementary Education Cheri O'Day about the relationship, according to the affidavit.

Both O'Day and Personnel Director David Marcotte interviewed the girl about the allegations. Marcotte and then-Superintendent Terry Thompson interviewed Maples, also in 2010, who stated he was "shocked" by the allegations.
           
Soon after the interview, Maples retired in good standing with the district, earning his full retirement benefits.
           
"No disciplinary action was taken against John Maples as a result of the findings of David Marcotte's investigation," the affidavit read. "(Marcotte) could not determine if a sexual relationship between the two had in fact existed."

Investigators pointed out twice in the affidavit that Marcotte never interviewed Dave Lawrence, a former school grounds worker and longtime associate of John Maples , despite the fact that Lawrence's name was included in O'Day's handwritten investigation notes.
           
When interviewed in 2012 by Indiana State Police, Lawrence told detectives he knew about the sexual relationship between Maples and the girl, but that he and other employees were afraid to come forward and lose their jobs.
           
"According to Lawrence, John Maples stated that 'he messed up' and did some things that he shouldn't have done," the affidavit read. "Lawrence stated that (the girl) was with John Maples all of the time, after work."
           
Indiana State Police detectives also interviewed Thompson, who stated he could not remember the girl's name or any of the questions posted to John Maples during their interview.

Lang said the school district notified the Indiana Department of Child Services and the Indiana Department of Education about the allegations.

The school district is not considering any new policies regarding student-staff interactions in the wake of Maples' arrest.

"Just as we don't have policies that specifically state, 'Administrators shall not exceed the speed limit, or shall not steal, or shall not murder anyone,' we don't have one that specifically says that administrators shall not have students in their homes, to do them harm of any kind," school board President Shirley Deckard wrote in an email to RTV6.

Lang said state and federal law dictates appropriate supervisory roles for those working with students.

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