Date Published: Thu, 02/18/2016
By Kathy McCabe GLOBE STAFF
FEBRUARY 18, 2016
Mashpee School Superintendent Brian A. Hyde, who was accused of barging into a home last September to conduct a student residency check, has been cleared of charges of trespassing and breaking and entering.
Falmouth District Court Judge Mary Orfanello issued a not-guilty verdict on Wednesday, just one day after a trial on the misdemeanor charges had started, according to the court clerk’s office.
Hyde, who has been on paid leave since November, was accused of entering a home without permission, and opening the dresser drawers of a 17-year-old female student.
Hyde, a veteran Mashpee educator, denied the allegations, saying he had been invited into the home as part of a routine residency check.
The criminal charges rocked the 1,600-student school district on Cape Cod.
“This entire event has had a significant impact on people, in regard to polarizing opinions in one direction or another,” said Mashpee School Committee chairman Don Myers.
Hyde did not immediately return a phone message on Thursday seeking comment from the Globe.
His attorneys, Drew Segadelli of Mashpee and Mark C. Gildea of Bridgewater, also did not immediately return calls.
Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe, in a statement, said, “This is a case, that facts of which should have been, and were presented to and decided by the court.”
Myers said he is glad that the criminal case has been resolved.
“The court system has finally determined the legal issues surrounding the superintendent’s home visit,” Myers said in an interview.
He commended the performance of students and administrators amid the legal proceedings.
“This has been a big distraction, but I commend them all for keeping the focus on education,” Myers said.
The student, who was not identified, remains enrolled at Mashpee High School, Myers said.
Her mother, Marilyn King, could not be reached for comment.
Hyde’s future employment is uncertain. The committee will meet on Feb. 25 to discuss his status, Myers said.
“Our responsibility is to look at this from a personnel perspective. That’s a different standard, a different threshold, than the legal proceeding,” Myers said.
“The committee will be very diligent of its review of all the facts,” he added.
Hyde is in the third year of a five-year contract. His salary is $150,000, Myers said. The contract contains provisions for a buyout or termination commonly found in employment contracts.
Hyde is a 27-year employee of the school district. He is a former history teacher and assistant superintendent of Mashpee High School. He was appointed school superintendent 2½ years ago, Myers said.
Kathy McCabe can be reached at Katherine.McCabe@ globe.com. Follow her on Twitter@GlobeKMcCabe.