$27K severance on table for D-200 teacher accused of battery

WOODSTOCK – District 200 will pay nearly $27,000 for the resignation of an Olson Elementary School music teacher accused of inappropriately touching two young girls, if the board approves a pending severance deal Tuesday night.

Jeffrey M. Steurer, 39, was suspended without pay by the district on March 11 after he was charged March 2 by Woodstock police with battery of an insulting and/or provoking nature, a Class A misdemeanor.

A second student came forward after the first case became public.

Under the severance agreement – which has already been signed by Steurer – the Caledonia man denies all wrongdoing and misconduct, and submits an irrevocable resignation.

The deal calls for Steurer to receive pay equal to what he would receive if he would complete the 2013-14 school year on the payroll, including compensation for time he spent on suspension. That portion of the severance totals $18,818.

Steurer would receive additional payments of $1,130 and $400. He would be paid a final lump sum of $6,443 in September, according to the proposed deal.

In all, the payments would total $26,792.35. Steurer would stay on the district's medical and dental plans through August.

District 200 officials couldn't be reached for comment Friday.

But Steurer's attorney denies the allegations despite his departure from the district.

"DCFS determined through their investigation that reported allegations were unfounded and Jeffrey Steurer continues to deny any wrongdoing or misconduct," his attorney, Margi Worth, said Friday in a statement. "However, he has decided it is in the best interest of his family, students and the school district to submit his resignation."

According to the criminal complaint, Steurer first was charged Feb. 28 with misdemeanor battery. He's accused of "hugging" and "touching the buttocks" of an 11-year-old girl at Olson Elementary on Dec. 19.

A second, nearly identical complaint was filed in April, in which a different student alleges that Steurer also hugged and touched her buttocks.

A bench trial has been set for July 10. McHenry County Judge Joel Berg, not a jury, will decide Steurer's guilt or innocence. If convicted, the probational Class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to a year in the McHenry County Jail, a fine of up to $2,500 or both.

Steurer has been with the district 10 years and at Olson for the past seven years.

He also is a part of the music faculty at Judson University in Elgin, according to the school's website.

• Reporter Chelsea McDougall contributed to this report.

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