No charges filed against 2 southeast MO superintendents investigated for DUI

No charges filed against 2 southeast MO superintendents investigated for DUI
Mitch Wood (Source: KFVS)
Mitch Wood (Source: KFVS)
Sonia Kuessner (Source: KFVS)
Sonia Kuessner (Source: KFVS)
(Source: KFVS)
(Source: KFVS)

SCOTT COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - According to the Scott County Prosecuting Attorney, two southeast Missouri superintendents investigated for driving under the influence will not be prosecuted.

Mitchell Wood and Sonia Kuessner were both under investigation for driving under the influence. And according to the prosecuting attorney, neither Wood or Kuessner will face charges.

Scott County Sheriff Rick Walter confirmed that Wood and Kuessner both made contact with deputies on Sunday, Oct. 23.

Wood is the superintendent in Dexter and Kuessner is the superintendent in Van Buren.

Walter also confirmed that Wood is the husband of his office manager, Shawn Wood.

According to Scott County Prosecuting Attorney Paul Boyd, his office received two fingerprint cards from the sheriff's office for Wood and Kuessner.

Boyd said Wood's fingerprint card was received on October 24 and Kuessner's arrived in his office on October 25.

Both cards indicated they were for driving under the influence.

Walter said Wood was initially stopped for a broken headlight.

After the deputy that stopped him ran his information, he learned that Wood had an active warrant for his arrest from the Dexter Police Department for an unpaid ticket. That's when Wood was taken to the sheriff's department.

A spokesperson for the Dexter Police Department confirmed Wood did have an outstanding warrant, but indicated that the ticket has since been paid.

According to Boyd, his office has not received a probable cause affidavit or any official reports from the sheriff's office regarding the arrests.

When asked about those reports, Walter said, "There's a couple of reports that's been done.  And I think the lieutenant has those.  And I think he's waiting for two more."

Walter initially denied that Wood was arrested for DUI, but during an interview on Nov. 1, he acknowledged that mug shots posted online for both Wood and Kuessner were taken at the Scott County Jail.

"They were detained and then released.  They were booked in a process and then released," Walter said.

When asked if that is the same thing as being arrested, he said, "It depends. Some people could depends. Some people you ask....if you are arrested, you know, what's your interpretation?"

Because the prosecutor has not received any paperwork, he said he cannot consider filing charges against either person.

Boyd noted that his office typically receives probable cause affidavits within 24 hours for a traffic violation. The official reports generally come within about 72 hours, except for reports from the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Those reports are cleared in Jefferson City before they are submitted to the local prosecutor.

Fingerprint cards are usually sent with the official reports from all law enforcement agencies, according to Boyd.

Walter said he did not know that those cards had already been sent to the prosecutor's office.

The Dexter School Board placed Wood on paid administrative leave during a school board meeting on Thursday, October 27.

As of Monday, Jan. 9, the school board in a closed session and approved a tentative separation agreement with Wood and his position as superintendent.

Right now, the school board is actively looking for an interim superintendent.

The school board met on Fri. Nov. 4 and voted to hire Gavin Miller as an assistant superintendent.

They also hired Nancy Langley as interim Middle School Assistant principal for the remainder of the 2016-2017 school year.

Those changes go into effect on Monday, Nov. 7.

Van Buren's school board placed Kuessner on administrative leave on Thursday, Nov. 6.

Kuessner's attorney said he had no comment on the matter.

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