A suburban middle school principal has resigned after his superiors learned that an investigation into “sexually harassing misconduct” allegations while he worked for the Chicago Public Schools led to a recommendation that his name be put on a “Do Not Hire” list.
Cedric Nolen resigned from CPS in January when he was investigated for sexual misconduct. After he was hired as a principal at Colin Powell Middle School over the summer, the allegations from Chicago resurfaced, and he resigned this week, officials said.
Matteson School District Superintendent Mable Alfred informed parents this week that Nolen quit the job he took in July after she learned of the allegations and placed him on leave.
She said she only learned of the allegations recently, but that explanation isn’t good enough for some parents, who want her to be fired for her role in the hiring process.
“It’s blowing my mind. I’m so angry right now,” Katrina Johnson, a mother of children who attend the Matteson school, said. “They had to have known. There’s no way they couldn’t have known.”
Alfred defended herself during a school board meeting Wednesday, saying that background checks did not return any red flags on Nolen’s record.
“There was some speculation, but no credible evidence,” Alfred said. “We did two background checks that came back negative.”
Nolen’s CPS file is marked “Do Not Hire” after his resignation, a spokesman confirmed to NBC 5. An internal investigation into his conduct found that “evidence supports a finding of sexual misconduct.”
CPS says it was never asked for Nolen’s file while Matteson was looking into hiring him.
During the contentious meeting, school officials conceded that they had erred in not more thoroughly checking his record.
“The ball was dropped and we did not get the information,” School Board Secretary Bernice Brown said.