The Dublin Board of Education voted March 18 to release documents detailing the school district's efforts to discipline former Dublin Scioto High School teacher Gregory R. Lee.

Lee in January 2018 was sentenced to nearly 22 years in federal prison for taking nude photographs of a 15-year-old student. He pleaded guilty Jan. 22 that same year in state court to charges he had sex with the girl.

Franklin County Common Pleas Judge David E. Cain sentenced Lee to eight years in prison on the state charges but ruled the sentence would run concurrently with Lee's sentence in the federal case.

Dublin board members March 18 unanimously voted 5-0 to waive attorney-client privilege with respect to particular advice and communications from legal counsel.

The ThisWeek Dublin Villager sent emails to each of the five board members, asking why they approved waiving attorney-client privilege as well as why they decided to do so now. None of the board members responded to the email.

Doug Baker, the school district's public-information officer, said the board members were advised by the district's legal counsel not to comment on the matter.

In a prepared statement, Jessica Philemon, an attorney serving as the district's legal counsel, said the district's top priority is to keep students safe.

When the district sought legal advice from two law firms about incidents reportedly involving Lee, the firms' advice was that the evidence available wasn't enough to fire Lee, Philemon said.

"Instead, the district disciplined him and held him accountable for the actions school leaders knew about," she said.

The board members' vote March 18 concerned a specific list of faxes and emails about the employment of Lee, 53, from Bricker & Eckler LLP between Jan. 16, 2009, through Feb. 2, 2009, and from Pepple & Waggoner Ltd. between Aug. 30, 2010, and Oct. 6, 2010, according to language contained in the resolution.

Those documents shared with ThisWeek included student testimony about Lee and communications related to investigative hearings for Lee and a draft of a suspension notice related to a February 2009 investigative hearing.

ThisWeek previously reported Lee was suspended without pay for two days Feb. 25 and 26, 2009, related to allegations of inappropriate behavior toward a female Dublin Scioto High School 11th-grader, according to his personnel file.

Baker said the district couldn't comment further on the matter because of ongoing civil litigation.

On Aug. 23, 2018, ThisWeek reported the district was being sued by the father of a Dublin student in federal court. The suit filed that day alleged the district did not properly protect the man's daughter from Lee.

That case still is pending and is in the discovery stage through Nov. 15, according to a staff member with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. The most recent event filed on the case was a "Reply to Response to Motion" filed March 12, according to the court's website. On Feb. 26, a "Motion to Quash" event was filed, followed by a "Reply (non motion)" event Feb. 28.

ssole@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSarah