Hamburg School Superintendent Richard E. Jetter admitted to Hamburg Village Police and a school employee on Monday that he damaged his own car, the source in the school district told The Buffalo News today.
The source said he then checked himself into BryLin Hospital, which offers private psychiatric and substance abuse care.
The source did not want to be identified because the source was not authorized to discuss the superintendent.
Jetter was put on administrative leave today.
The superintendent came to work on Monday and then went to Village Hall to confess to police that he had filed a false police report, the source said. Then Jetter returned to the district office and told an employee he damaged his own car, and he left, the source said.
Police Chief Dennis Gleason said the department is still investigating the case, and may have more information later this week.
The News reported Tuesday that a witness had surfaced who challenged the prevailing belief that a vandal on May 6 damaged Jetter’s white Nissan Maxima, leaving a typed note under his windshield wiper that said: “Watch your back, you (expletive) sleezebag.” The incident shocked the school community and was a sign that the tumult in the district had crossed the line. Teachers and others rallied behind Jetter the following day.
The witness spoke with The Buffalo News and said that the damage did not happen in the school parking lot.
Rather, the witness said, it happened in South Buffalo the day before the School Board meeting. A man driving what appeared to be the superintendent’s car accidentally struck a brown wooden utility pole, according to the witness.
Hamburg village police are “conducting an investigation involving School District Superintendent Dr. Richard Jetter,” the school district said Tuesday.
Jetter did not respond to an attempt to reach him Tuesday, and a source in the district said then that he was not in the district office. But in a July 11 interview, Jetter vehemently denied that the damage to his car occurred the night before the meeting.
“That’s ridiculous,” he told The News. “That’s absolutely ridiculous.”
School Board President David Yoviene declined to comment Tuesday but said, when asked about the allegations: “If anybody really thinks Dr. Jetter staged an accident, that is the most bizarre thing I have heard in my whole life.”
For the last three years, the Hamburg Central School District has been torn apart by infighting and accusations. First one board faction won control, then another. Then the board sued over the leaked recording of an executive session – and in the process tried to uncover the identity of a critical blogger – then a new board dropped the suit. The current board is trying to throw out one of its members, arguing she verbally abused the superintendent, the board president and staff.