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Former York Suburban superintendent avoids criminal conviction for vandalizing co-worker’s cars

YORK — A former York Suburban School District superintendent was accepted into a diversionary court program that will allow her to avoid criminal convicti...
MERKLE

YORK — A former York Suburban School District superintendent was accepted into a diversionary court program that will allow her to avoid criminal conviction on charges that she vandalized a coworker’s two vehicles, according to a York Daily Record report.

Michele Merkle, 55, of Spring Garden Township, will have to perform 35 hours of community service, undergo a mental health evaluation and follow through on any recommended treatment, and engage in no harassing, abusive or threatening contact with the victim as part of the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program. She also forced to pay $4,362 in restitution and submitted a letter of apology at Tuesday’s hearing.

Merkle’s attorney released a statement to the press apologizing for her actions and the negative attention they generated for the York Suburban School District. She blamed them on “underlying health issues that previously seemed unremarkable.”

On Sept. 11, 2017, then-assistant superintendent Patricia Maloney reported that she discovered a screw in one of the tires of her Jeep Cherokee. She took a second vehicle, a Volvo S60 to York Suburban High School to attend a meeting, and later discovered that it had been scratched. A screw was found near one of the tires, according to police.

Detectives later discovered surveillance video that showed Merkle vandalizing the vehicles. She later admitted to performing the vandalism and was charged with two counts of criminal mischief.
Merkle was placed on medical leave after the incident, and submitted her resignation while on leave, effective on Sept. 30, 2017.