A spokesperson for the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese confirmed it was the boards decision entirely to place him on leave.
The Bishop McCort Board of Trustees released the following statement:
"Dear Bishop McCort Family,
The entire Bishop McCort Catholic High School Board of Trustees would first and foremost like to thank you for your continued support. Without your support, countless children and their families in the Johnstown area would not be able to receive a high quality Catholic academic and spiritual education.
Effective immediately, Mr. Ken Salem will no longer serve as Principal of Bishop McCort Catholic High School. In Mr. Salem's place, the Bishop McCort Board of Trustees has unanimously appointed our current Assistant Principal, Dr. D.A. Gardill, to fill the position of Acting Principal on an interim basis.
We look forward to working with her as she assumes the role of Acting Principal. Our entire Board is extremely confident that Dr. Gardill will proudly maintain Bishop McCort's high standards and commitment to ensuring every student and school family develops spiritually, morally, and educationally as a child of God.
The entire Board of Trustees is committed to our continued service to you and the entire Bishop McCort school family. We look forward to working with you to ensure that Johnstown area families receive the highest level of academic, spiritual, and moral guidance from our institution. Please do not hesitate to be in touch with us directly if we can be of service to you.
Bishop McCort Catholic High School Board of Trustees"
G. William Bills, attorney for Ken Salem, released the following statement on Salem's behalf:
"To Whom This May Concern:
As you are aware, the Board of Trustees of Bishop McCort Catholic High School has today announced that Principal Ken Salem has been placed on administrative leave with pay. This action by the Board violates every tenet of fundamental fairness which we have come to cherish in the United States of America.
Mr. Salem was neither given notice of the Board's intention to place him on administrative leave, nor was he given an opportunity to address the Board on his own behalf.
Placing Mr. Salem on administrative leave with pay constitutes a sad, unjust, and wrongful placement of blame on the shoulders of a man who has been a model faculty member at Bishop
McCort for many years. Over the course of his tenure, Mr. Salem has devoted himself to the students,faculty, staff, parents, and alumni of Bishop McCort Catholic High School in every way. Mr.Salem would never do anything to harm the school or its students.
The unfortunate actions of Brother Stephen Baker were unknown to Ken Salem and he has been shocked and grieved to discover that these incidents of abuse occurred. Mr. Salem prays every day for the victims of Brother Baker and hopes that everyone impacted by Brother Baker's heinous acts finds healing and justice.
Despite this miscarriage of justice through the Board's actions today, Mr. Salem will continue to pray for the school, students, faculty, staff, and alumni of Bishop McCort Catholic High School who will always hold a special place in his heart."
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