Fayetteville Superintendent Agrees to Administrative Leave During Investigation


UPDATE: A letter from Elizabeth Robben Murray, the attorney representing Fayetteville Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Matthew Wendt, states that he is now officially on leave while the investigation into sexual harassment claims made against him by an employee continues. 

Board President Justin Eichmann and Dr. Wendt discussed the possibility of leave Friday. The letter says that on Saturday, Dr. Wendt agreed that it was in the best interest of the district and the community. 

Murray and Dr. Wendt say they continue to cooperate with the district during the investigation.

Fayetteville Public School Board released the following statement:

“Following receipt of sexual harassment allegations against Dr. Wendt, the Fayetteville School District immediately instituted an investigation. The Board takes all complaints of sexual harassment very seriously and has in place a zero tolerance sexual harassment policy. Pursuant to the policy, the District is required to handle such claims as a personnel matter in order to provide as much protection and privacy to the complainant and the accused. Appropriate internal controls and protocol were put in place during the course of the investigation including measures to prohibit any interaction by Dr. Wendt with the complainant.  At this point in the investigation, it is in the best interest of the Fayetteville School District that Dr. Wendt be placed on administrative leave. At the request of the Board President, Dr. Wendt has been placed on leave and will remain so until the investigation is completed and the Board convenes to address the allegations. The Board is hopeful that the investigation is concluded with the least disruption possible to the District and to the education of our students. 

Dr. John L Colbert, Associate Superintendent for Support Services, will serve as acting superintendent per established protocol. Dr. Colbert has been with the District for over 30 years, and the Board is confident in Dr. Colbert’s ability to lead the District at this time.”

Stay with KNWA for the latest updates on this ongoing story.

UPDATE: A letter about the sexual harassment allegations against Fayetteville Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Matthew Wendt has been confirmed.

The letter written by Attorney Suzanne Clark, who represents the employee that filed a complaint against Wendt, states Wendt sent crude text messages to her laced with profanity.

The letter states,  “I am grossly disappointed in the district’s response to my client’s complaint. The fact that so much time and effort has gone into efforts to discredit her coupled with the fact that the district has yet to even meet to discuss the complaint, demonstrates that the district is not taking the complaint seriously.”

Wendt denied all allegations against him earlier Friday.


Dr. Matthew Wendt, superintendent of Fayetteville Public Schools, issued a statement Friday concerning sexual harassment claims made against him.  It follows:

“On March 14, 2018, I was informed that a Fayetteville Public School District employee,
through her lawyer, was making a claim of sexual harassment against me. I deny all allegations
of sexual harassment.

Further, since March 14, I have fully cooperated with the school district’s general counsel
who is conducting the District’s investigation into these allegations. I have and will continue to
make myself available to the school district to answer questions concerning the allegations. At
this time, I have no further comment.”

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