A veteran music teacher faces a court appearance next week in connection with a vandalism incident that took place in the auditorium of Lake Shore High School in June.
His attorney said Glenn T. Molik, 46, of Derby, has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges in the case, but declined to comment further Monday.
Tapes made by video surveillance cameras in the school helped Evans police determine who was responsible for the vandalism, Police Chief Ernest Masullo said.
Molik is accused of vandalizing costumes, props and a large vinyl banner that were going to be used by Derby Dance Connection, a privately operated dance organization that rented space in the high school for a June 20 dance recital featuring performances by about 100 children.
According to a police arrest report, the director of the dance group showed up at the school the afternoon of the recital and “found all the costumes thrown about, three clothes racks’ worth, six cork board props broken, and a vinyl banner pulled down, damaging the eye hooks.”
“It probably caused damage in the hundreds of dollars, but it was more an inconvenience than anything else,” Dance Connection director Krista Wagner told The Buffalo News on Monday.
She said school officials indicated to her that “someone who was having a bad day” caused the damage, but she said she doesn’t know why her group’s property was targeted.
Dancers had gone through a rehearsal June 18, and the vandalism occurred sometime before the recital, which was held June 20, Wagner said. She said about 100 children participated in the event, with almost 500 parents, family members and friends in the audience.
Molik was arrested June 25.
Dance Connection has rented space at the school for years for its recitals, and several other dance groups also rent space for recitals each year, Lake Shore School Superintendent James E. Przepasniak said.
“We’ve never had anything like this happen before,” Przepasniak said.
He said Molik, a district employee for 21 years, was placed on administrative leave after his arrest and faces administrative charges filed by the district. Przepasniak said he could not discuss the charges in detail. He said Molik is not currently being paid because he is off for the summer. If the charges are still pending when school resumes in September, Molik will receive his pay, at least until the administrative case is resolved.
“The district will not move forward with its actions until the court matter is resolved,” Przepasniak said. “We’ve done everything we can to make sure it’s handled correctly and appropriately.”
The superintendent declined to comment when asked if the district is attempting to terminate the teacher, or if he knows what touched off the incident.
Molik’s attorney, Carl W. Morgan, said he could not comment on the incident except to confirm that Molik has pleaded not guilty.
Masullo also declined to comment on any possible reasons for the vandalism.
Molik is listed on the school district’s website as the high school’s orchestra director and pit conductor. The website said he leads concerts at Christmas time and on other occasions.
The teacher also is listed as a building representative for the Lake Shore Central Teachers Association.
He is charged with criminal mischief and criminal tampering, both misdemeanors. He is scheduled to appear before Evans Town Judge Timothy Cooper at 6:30 p.m. next Monday. The Erie County District Attorney’s office is prosecuting the case.