The future of a Washington County school superintendent charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol has yet to be determined.
Trinity Area School District Superintendent Paul Kasunich, 54, of Sewickley, was pulled over in February on Mt. Nebo Road in Ohio Township after he nearly struck a police cruiser when he crossed the center line, according to police. The arresting officer noted in his report Kasunich was driving erratically, smelled of alcohol, had bloodshot eyes and failed three sobriety tests at the scene. Kasunich was taken to the Ohio Township police station, charged with DUI, disregarding traffic lanes and careless driving, and was released.
The district later suspended Kasunich with pay. Trinity School Board President Jennifer Morgan said the district is still conducting its investigation into the matter. The review is being handled by an attorney, and there is no timeline for a decision.
On Thursday, Kasunich waived his preliminary hearing on the charges before District Judge Tara Smith. While several factors play a role in determining the length of the criminal justice process in cases such as Kasunich’s, it could be several months to a year before the matter is adjudicated. In the meantime, Kasunich remains suspended with pay.
This is the second time Kasunich was 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 case 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 formal arraignment for Kasunich is scheduled for April 25.