Fernsler will remain employed with DOE - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Fernsler will remain employed with DOE

by Michele Catahay

Guam - A former D.L. Perez Elementary School Teacher will still be employed with the Department of Education until his criminal case is resolved.  DOE didn't want to chance losing the appeal before the Civil Service Commission.

During last night's meeting, the CSC's board of directors dismissed the appeal of Frederick Fernsler with prejudice, following a settlement between the former teacher and DOE.  Fernsler has been appealing his mid-July termination from the agency following charges of criminal sexual conduct, alleging that he inappropriately touched at least one girl and had video surveillance cameras secretly hidden in his classroom.

While the settlement states Fernsler's record will be cleared of the adverse action for which he was charged, with Fernsler withdrawing his appeal, he is still considered an employee of the department, but agreed to be placed on a leave without pay status pending the outcome of his criminal case.

"The two parties have come to a settlement on the matter whereby Mr. Fernsler will be on leave without pay so he's not being paid right now nor is he at any of the schools, noted DOE Legal Counsel Fred Nishihara.  He explains why the department made the decision to settle the matter with Fernsler admitting the department didn't have a foolproof case.

"In any particular case, it depends on the strength of the ability to present document and witnesses and in this case it involves some minors that we were a little concerned about basically testifying in this matter.  So the department took a totality of the circumstances and basically decided look the agreement is if he's convicted he'll no longer work for the department," he said.

If Fernsler is acquitted, he will be employed somewhere other than D.L. Perez Elementary where he was previously assigned.  "If the department were not to prevail on this we would have had to pay attorneys fees and back wages so as far as flaws anytime you've got any type of litigation or trials, you never know if you will prevail. In this case we weren't exactly 100% on board," he said.

Fernsler is slated to go to trial next week in the Superior Court of Guam.

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