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Northern Cass board to wait on Steiner DUI case resolution before acting

Cory Steiner, superintendent of Northern Cass School District. Forum News Service file photo

HUNTER, N.D. - The president of the Northern Cass School Board said the board is waiting to find out how Superintendent Cory Steiner's drunken driving case is resolved before it decides what sanctions he will face.

"We really are taking this seriously," Susie Carlson said Thursday, Aug. 17.

Carlson said the board has consulted with the district's lawyer and they are now waiting to see what direction Steiner's case takes.

"Whatever action is deemed appropriate, we will do that," Carlson said.

Steiner, 42, of Arthur, has been charged with misdemeanor driving under the influence and cited for speeding, according to Cass County District Court documents.

A Cass County sheriff's deputy stopped Steiner outside Mapleton just before 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 12, court documents said.

He was given a Breathalyzer test, which showed a blood-alcohol level of 0.165 percent, about twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent, court documents said.

Steiner, who participated in professional development at the school through much of Thursday, said he could not discuss the specifics of the case on the advice of his lawyer.

He said he called each School Board member after the incident.

The School Board met Wednesday, but a discussion of Steiner's legal issues wasn't on the agenda and wasn't discussed during the meeting, Business Manager Julie Keckler said.

Keckler said there were a dozen parents at the meeting and 25 teachers. Some of those individuals then sought out board members to talk about the case, she said.

Carlson said reactions from people at the meeting were mixed. Some back Steiner, others condemn him for the alleged violations.

Steiner said he knows the incident generated some negative opinions.

"With any situation you hear the good and the bad. I am glad for the support, and I understand the other side, also," he said.

Steiner said he intends to be at work on the first day of school on Wednesday, Aug. 23.

The arrest came days after the district announced it would be without a full-time high school principal for the coming school year. Former Assistant Principal Ryan Lyson failed to obtain the necessary credentials to be a principal in time and was not offered the job after the board opened it up for applications.

An applicant was offered the job, but could not get released from their current contract.

High school principal duties have been split between Steiner, Derrick Bopp, the district's dean of students and athletic director, and elementary Principal Crysta Schenck.

Steiner became superintendent at Northern Cass on July 1, 2014, after working for the North Dakota Education Technology Council.

Before that, he was principal at West Fargo High School for a year, when he abruptly asked the School Board to release him from his contract in June 2012.

Steiner is scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 31 in district court.

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