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Shen fires Don Paretta

Paretta then touted his 14 years of success as the Shenendahowa track coach.

"If he were teaching there, that would certainly be a lot more relevant," said Ehrlich. "He's been in the district for all these years, and there's never been a single allegation or claim of wrongdoing on his part."

Paretta said the media, in part, has been to blame for the way his situation has been handled.

"Those who make judgments based only on news reports do not have the whole story," said Paretta, who went on to reference previous conflicts with Shenendahowa's athletic director, and said Superintendent L. Oliver Robinson "had a different agenda."

"I believe that if the superintendent of schools here at Shenendehowa had taken the time to look at this situation with open eyes, a different outcome would have resulted. Instead, I feel the decision was already made days ago and by press release," he said.

The district became aware of the certification issue on Wednesday, April 1, and suspended Paretta without pay within hours, said Robinson. Paretta receives a $5,600 salary.

Robert Reese, a crime victims' advocate, brought the matter to the attention of police and the state Department of Education.

Records from the Education Department indicate that Paretta's state certification as a teacher of physical education was invalidated in 1995 as the result of an investigation into an alleged sexual relationship with a student.

Shenendehowa hired him the same year he lost his teaching certification, which also served as his authorization to coach. The Education Department sent out a blanket notice of the invalidation to schools statewide on Jan. 24, 1996.

Kelly DeFeciani, a spokesperson for the district, said that no Education Department notification of the invalidation is on file at Shenendehowa.

"All we can say is that we don't have the notification on file," said DeFeciani. "This was 14 years ago; none of the same people are even here."

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