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Fired DPS coach had prostitution-related conviction

Dayton Public Schools assigned a man as a classroom aide and coach even though he lacked one needed state permit, and had a state hearing pending because of a prostitution-related conviction.

The man, Donte Murphy, was fired this spring. But now district officials have confirmed that a newer, separate complaint against Murphy has been forwarded to Dayton Police and Children Services.

Neither school officials nor police would discuss the nature of the complaint.

The most recent letter in Murphy’s personnel file, from just 10 days ago, accuses him of going onto school grounds May 4, after he was fired, leading DPS’ security director to trespass Murphy from all district property.

Murphy was hired as an educational aide at Ponitz Career Technology Center in August 2014, five months after his arrest on a solicitation charge on Wayne Avenue.

He served in that role for the full 2014-15 school year, according to district officials, even though the Ohio Department of Education website says his 2014 application for an educational aide permit was declined.

Murphy, 28, of Englewood, also served as head boys track coach at Ponitz from 2012 through 2015 and until this March.

There is conflicting information about his pupil activity permit, which is required to coach.

Ohio Department of Education records show Murphy’s coaching permit expiring in July 2014. He applied to renew it in May 2014, but ODE lists that application as still pending because the state got involved.

On July 17, 2014 — months after his arrest — an Ohio Department of Education investigator sent Dayton Public Schools a public records request for all documents on Murphy, including any investigative records and witness statements.

But DPS officials on Friday night emailed this news outlet a three-year state pupil activity permit in Murphy’s name, which lists an issue date of Aug. 8, 2014, and effective dates of July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2017.

It is not clear how ODE has multiple documents calling the application “pending” or being reviewed for permanent denial, when DPS is presenting what appears to be an active permit.

There is no mention of any investigation or complaints in Murphy’s DPS personnel file, and he was hired as an aide one month after ODE’s request for investigative records.

In January 2015, Murphy pleaded guilty to an amended charge of disorderly conduct in the prostitution case. He agreed to go to “John’s School,” according to ODE documents. Murphy coached the Ponitz track team that spring and finished out the year as an educational aide.

In October 2015, after Murphy had switched to the district enrollment office, the state board of education sent DPS a notice by certified mail. It said an upcoming hearing would determine whether Murphy’s pupil activity permit (coaching) would be denied once or denied permanently, because of his conviction.

Despite that, when Murphy left his enrollment office job this February, district officials assigned him back to Ponitz as an aide, starting there on Feb. 19. He applied again for the educational aide permit that he lacks, per ODE records, and finally on March 18, just after track season started, the district notified him that he would be terminated “due to loss of certification.”

Ohio Department of Education spokeswoman Brittany Halpin said a hearing was held on Murphy’s case April 14, but it does not appear that the state school board has voted on whether to permanently deny his permit.

The only evaluations in Murphy’s personnel file are from his coaching roles in 2011 and 2012. Those evaluations are very positive, including one comment that Murphy “works very well with students and motivates them to do their best.”

Asked why he was allowed to serve as an aide and coach without a license, DPS officials said Murphy’s license “was pending from a payment made May 6, 2014,” making no reference to the state hearing and plan to deny his application.

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