Edina athletic director resigns amid allegations

9:03 PM, Sep 11, 2012   |    comments
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EDINA, Minn. - The Edina Public School Board accepted the resignation of Athletic Director and Assistant Principal John Soma Monday night amidst a swirl of allegations against him.

Soma had been placed on leave August 23 due to the unspecified allegations. Susan Brott, Edina District Director of Communications, says those allegations were brought forward by a few different sources, none of which involves the Edina Public Schools.

The District released a statement that reads:

"At its meeting on September 10, 2012, the Board of Education for the Edina Public Schools (EPS) accepted the resignation of Edina High School (EHS) Athletic Director and Assistant Principal, John Soma. Mr. Soma's resignation is effective immediately. The District respects Mr. Soma's personal decision to resign from Edina Public Schools and wishes him well in the future."

In the short term the EHS administrative team and other staff will cover the Assistant Principal and Athletic director duties handled by Soma until a long-term transition plan is in place.

John Soma came to the Edina Public Schools in 2009. Prior to that, Soma was employed with the South Washington County School District as the activities director.

The district says he voluntarily resigned in June of 2009 to take the job in Edina, and at that time, faced no allegations.

However, a district statement said two allegations were made against Soma during the time he was employed by District 833. The first centered around accounting troubles the district labeled as a concern, such as "checks written to multiple individuals for work not performed by those receiving payment" and "blank checks signed in advance of payment to be completed later with names of payees and amounts."

A disciplinary letter says Soma also wrote checks to several members in a family to circumvent filing an IRS 1099 tax form when dealing with amounts over $600, a threshold set by the district.

The South Washington County School District says the second allegation was investigated and did not result in any disciplinary action, and as a result is classified as private under Minnesota data privacy laws.

Neither district will confirm if the allegations against Soma during his time at Woodbury High School have anything to do with his current resignation.

Calls to Mr. Soma have not been returned. His bio has now been removed from the Edina district website, but earlier Tuesday said he lives with his wife, who is also a teacher, and his two young sons.

























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