Otis Mathis, school board president for Detroit Public Schools, is attempting to rescind his resignation after being accused by the district superintendent of fondling himself in front of her.How charming.
He abruptly submitted a letter of resignation Thursday, citing health problems. Today, he indicated to school officials he has no intention of quitting, has retracted his resignation and attended a court hearing this afternoon about the district.
Board Vice President Anthony Adams today released a two-page letter from Superintendent Teresa Gueyser accusing Mathis of touching himself during a recent meeting. She called it his "usual habit" during one-on-one meetings. She said she tries to ignore it.
"On many occasions, I have asked him not to touch himself," she wrote in the letter dated Wednesday.
Mathis declined to comment on the allegations today and would only say: "I removed my resignation." He attended the board's 5 p.m. meeting today, but sat in the front row of the audience. His name plate was already removed from the board table. Adams said the board won't comment further on the controversy.
He said he plans to attend a public board meeting tonight. But colleagues are moving forward as if "he is no longer a board member," Adams said.
Board member Reverend David Murray called the allegations "a terrible thing" but said he doesn't believe the 55-year-old Mathis should quit.
"It happens to a lot of young men. They engage in behavior they feel is harmless and it's offensive to certain people," Murray said. "... It could be deemed offensive, but some women are more sensitive to those types of things than others."
"I feel bad for him because he probably felt that it was something she would probably like or she got humor out of it."
Gueyser's letter describes in detail an incident during a meeting about her employment agreement. Her contract is to be reviewed tonight.
"President Mathis continued to fondle his genital area for approximately 20 minutes, or the entire time I was talking," Gueyser wrote. "At one point, I lifted some papers from my binder above my eyes to separate my peripheral view in order to avoid watching his activity."
The letter doesn't explicitly say when the incident occurred, except that the meeting began at 4:55 p.m.
"He then re-zipped and unzipped his pants again; again placing the hand with the handkerchief inside the zipper area; this time moving his hand as if to be masturbating in front of me," Gueyser wrote.
Update: Oh man, I had no idea how bad it was with this guy. Via Ace.