Cleveland City Schools fires Martin Ringstaff with no pay, effective immediately

Board will name an interim director on Monday

The Cleveland City School Board makes a decision to terminate Director Martin Ringstaff at the noon meeting Friday in Cleveland.
photo Martin Ringstaff
Martin Ringstaff, the embattled director of Cleveland City Schools who came under fire for sending sexually explicit messages to a woman who is not his wife, was fired today by the Cleveland City school board, effective immediately.

He was given no additional compensation.

Ringstaff admitted earlier this week that he sent sexually explicit messages to a woman who was not his wife. The news came out Sunday after an anonymous person posted pictures of the messages on Twitter.

Last week, the board had extended his contract through 2019.

In a letter sent to the school board Thursday, attorney William Moffet wrote that Ringstaff would agree to resign if given 18 months' of salary -- about $210,000.

The board instead voted to pay him nothing. Chairperson Dawn Robinson said this was in part because Ringstaff lied to the board members on Monday, when news of the messages first leaked. At the time, she said, Ringstaff admitted to sending inappropriate messages -- but nothing else.

The next day, another message leaked. This one contained an image of his penis.

Ringstaff had a morality clause in his contract that may have prohibited such behavior.

"We were paying him while this was going on," said board member Steve Morgan. "I don't want to give him another dime. If anything, he should be paying us."

If Ringstaff were to fight his firing, it will be at his own expense, the board's attorney said.

The board's decision was met with applause in the audience.