Assistant superintendent of Harford schools put on paid leave after Baltimore sex charge

October 21, 1997|By Lisa Respers | Lisa Respers,SUN STAFF

A top Harford County school official was placed on paid leave yesterday after an August arrest by Baltimore police on a sex charge.

Joseph P. Licata, 43, assistant superintendent of operations for the Harford County school system, was arrested Aug. 22 in the city's Eastern District and charged with committing a perverted practice, according to court records. A trial is scheduled Nov. 10.

Under state law, perverted practice includes a variety of sex acts aside from conventional male-female intercourse.

School spokesman Donald R. Morrison said yesterday that Licata was placed on leave with pay pending an administrative investigation, but Morrison said officials could not discuss the leave because it is a personnel matter.

Richard W. Daub Jr., president of the school board, also declined to comment on the arrest and the decision to place Licata on leave.

Contacted by telephone at home yesterday, Licata, who is married and the father of two children, referred all questions to the school spokesman.

According to school officials, Licata, who lives in the 2500 block of Bounty Court in Bel Air, was appointed to the assistant superintendent's job July 1. In that job, he is in charge of all noneducational aspects of the school system, including facilities, maintenance and construction.

Before that, Licata was a teacher and an administrative assistant in the facilities department during his 21 years with the school system.

County Council President Joanne S. Parrott said she was informed of the arrest yesterday by school Superintendent Jeffery N. Grotsky.

Parrott suggested that the school board review its policy on security checks of employees.

Laws passed in the late 1970s require school systems to have employees fingerprinted and have background checks performed.

Pub Date: 10/21/97

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