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Schools chief says charges unfair

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Posted: Wednesday, May 28, 2003 7:52 am

Tempe Union High School District Superintendent James Buchanan said Tuesday an order of protection taken against him last week — to be discussed tonight during a previously planned job performance evaluation — is "totally unfounded."

A 43-year-old Ahwatukee Foothills woman obtained the order from the Chandler Justice Court against Buchanan, a married Chandler resident.

In the document, she claimed Buchanan has threatened, intimidated, harassed and stalked her since the end of March, after she ended a romantic relationship with him. She said she miscarried his a child in January.

Under the order, Buchanan can not contact the woman, her 17-year-old daughter or the woman’s friends and relatives, and must stay away from the woman’s home.

Buchanan said Tuesday, "There is no basis in fact for the allegations, and I have been consulting with my attorney to determine what decision to make regarding contesting it. "

The woman could not be reached for comment. A man at her home Tuesday said his mother does not work for the school district.

The district governing board will discuss the court order, and the evaluation, as previously scheduled during a closed session at 5 p.m. today, district spokeswoman Nicole Greason said. Buchanan, 51, has been the district’s superintendent for 11 years. His contract expires in 2004.

Governing board member Dan Perkins said Tuesday the board’s five members turned in their ratings of Buchanan’s job performance prior to the protection order. The results of the evaluation are "excellent, as they always are," Perkins said.

The court order will be dealt with as a separate matter, he said.

"We have yet to meet as a board and discuss this situation, and we have yet to discuss anything with legal counsel for the school board, so we don’t know what action, if any, is appropriate to be taken by the school board," he said.

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