Trinity superintendent charged with DUI

Trinity’s Kasunich suspended with pay after weekend arrest

February 6, 2014
Paul Kasunich

Trinity Area School District Superintendent Paul Kasunich was suspended with pay Thursday night after he was arrested over the weekend for driving under the influence of alcohol.

The school board did not discuss the suspension during a brief committee meeting Thursday and declined to comment following the meeting.

Kasunich, 54, who lives in Sewickley, was pulled over by an Ohio Township police officer on Mt. Nebo Road early Sunday morning and was charged with DUI and two traffic violations, including careless driving.

District solicitor Dennis Makel said Kasunich was informed before the school board meeting he was being suspended pending an investigation by the school district.

When reached by telephone, Kasunich declined to comment on the advice of his attorney.

Only one resident addressed the issue during the school board meeting.

Diane Eckert said she was disturbed by the DUI charges against Kasunich and that “someone in the position of leadership should be conducting himself in a way that sets a strong example.”

It is the second time Kasunich has been placed on paid administrative leave at Trinity. In November 2010, Kasunich was charged with simple assault following a fight with his girlfriend, but the charge was later dismissed.

At that time, Kasunich was suspended with pay for a few weeks and then returned to work while the charge went through the legal system.

Kasunich was hired by Trinity in 2010 and previously served as superintendent for Blackhawk Area School District.

He worked in private industry for companies including AT&T and General Electric before he began a second career in education as an economics teacher and moved into school administration positions. He received his master’s degree and then his doctorate at Duquesne University.

A preliminary hearing is set for March 13 before District Judge Tara Smith.

Karen Mansfield is an award-winning journalist and mom of five who has been a staff writer for the Observer-Reporter since 1988. She enjoys reading, the Pittsburgh Steelers, a good glass of wine and nice people.

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