EHOVE has taken the first step in firing a teacher accused of sexual misconduct involving a student.
On Wednesday, the career center's board of education met in special session to approve a "resolution initiating proceedings for the consideration of the termination of the teaching contract and supplemental contracts of Michael Edwards and suspension without pay and benefits," effective that day.
Michael Edwards, 47, of Huron, was arrested by Erie County sheriff's deputies in mid-November at his residence. The culinary arts instructor is charged with sexual battery for an alleged sexual relationship last year involving a 17-year-old girl who was a student at the school.
"Detectives had received information there was an ongoing sexual relationship with the student," Chief Deputy Jared Oliver said. "Detectives determined there was probable cause after a preliminary investigation and arrested Edwards on the sexual battery charge, which is a felony of the third degree."
EHOVE initially placed Edwards on paid leave, following a procedure in place for situations such as this one.
"The school actually tipped off the authorities," said Sharon Mastroianni, superintendent at EHOVE Career Center. "Information came to us. It's devastating news when the teacher/student trust has been broken."
"Of course, we don't want this incident to reflect on what we truly believe at EHOVE -- that students and staff are safe as they are receiving top-notch career technical training," Mastroianni said.
The case will be presented to an Erie County grand jury.
"These events took place last school year," Sheriff's Detective Sgt. Dennis Papineau said. "There was nothing this year."
Papineau said the relationship between Edwards and the victim began with texting and then escalated into the physical realm.
"It was consensual," he added.
The encounters took place at multiple locations in Erie County, Papineau said.
There was a second juvenile girl whom Edwards pursued through text messaging, Papineau said, but that girl declined his advances.