PHM School Board unanimously approves call for member's resignation

MISHAWAKA, Ind. -- On Tuesday night, the Penn-Harris-Madison School Board requested the resignation of one of its members.

In a special meeting called by the board, members were set to discuss multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against Matt Chaffee, who has not spoken out publicly confirming or denying the allegations.

Matt Chaffee did not attend the meeting, and the board didn't publicly discuss the resolution before making a unanimous vote to call for his resignation, rather, the discussion was done by visitors in public comments.

"We have people in our school district who are obviously concerned, given the grievous nature of the allegations," says Christopher Riley, President of the Penn-Harris Madison Board of School Trustees.

Those allegations, as listed in the resolution calling for Chaffee's resignation, claim he was involved in multiple incidents involving prostitutes, has a sexual appetite for prostitutes that has spanned the country, and problems with alcohol abuse.

All of which, the school board says would constitute criminal sexual misconduct if true.

The lack of response from Chaffee about these allegations, School Board President Christopher Riley says, is why the resolution ultimately came to the table.

"We did reach out to him and asked him for his response, and he declined to respond, that didn't leave us much choice," explains Riley.

Riley says the allegations stem from an article posted by a local blog along with complaints from parents.

Chaffee, who has previously called for the resignation of President Riley, said in a statement Riley "has abused his power... to silence those who speak out against him."

ABC57 asked Riley if there were ever any concerns about this board member before the article in question was published.

"That's a difficult question to answer in the sense that we all hear things, this was the first that came out that reported to have evidence behind it," Riley responds.

Riley was unable to point to other evidence besides the blog article.

"The claim is, he admitted the allegations to the person who wrote the article," says Riley. "That's a pretty bold statement to make if untrue."

The St. Joseph County Police Department, South Bend Police Department, St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office, and Mishawaka Police Department all confirmed with ABC57, they don't possess any records that would indicate Matt Chaffee was charged, arrested, or investigated for sexual misconduct.

It's still possible there may be an investigation outside of the Michiana area.

Still, the board hopes Chaffee will resign.

"We're hoping he follows that and does resign, because it is in the best interest of the school district," hopes Riley.

Share this article: