Teacher resigns after party charges

OAK HARBOR A Benton-Carroll-Salem Schools speech pathologist resigned Thursday, about two weeks after she was charged in conn
JACOB LAMMERS
May 24, 2010

OAK HARBOR

A Benton-Carroll-Salem Schools speech pathologist resigned Thursday, about two weeks after she was charged in connection with an underage drinking party last fall.

Gail Browning, 48, 12600 block of W. Portage River South Road, Oak Harbor, hosted a party in October that led to a car theft and crash, according to court records.

The B-C-S board of education accepted her resignation, Superintendent Diane Kershaw said.

"Under the circumstances, we thought the best thing possible was for her to resign," Kershaw said.

Gail Browning faces three misdemeanor counts while her husband, Kevin Browning, 49, same address, faces two misdemeanor counts of homeowner furnishing alcohol to a minor.

She could face up to 18 months in jail and a $3,000 fine. Kevin Browning could serve up to a year in jail and pay a $2,000 fine.

Kershaw did not know why Browning resigned.

The Brownings could not be reached for comment Friday.

Gail Browning has worked for B-C-S Schools for about 27 years, Kershaw said. She was a speech pathologist at R.C. Waters Elementary and at Oak Harbor High School and Middle School.

Kershaw said it was unfortunate that she resigned.

"She did a nice job for Oak Harbor. There's nothing in her file that would say any different," Kershaw said. "People make mistakes, and consequences occur when you make a mistake -- whatever those consequences might be."

Gail Browning worked with 65 children in the three buildings. Kershaw said the school district is searching for a replacement through Erie-Huron-Ottawa Educational Service Center.

School starts Aug. 28.

"We have some leads, and we'll see how it goes," Kershaw said. "We want to continue giving those children the services that they need."

According to court records, Robert Booher, 19, of Graytown stole and later crashed Magistrate Bruce Winters' car Oct. 15 after drinking at a party hosted by the Brownings.

Booher allegedly tried to break into Winters' home and then stole his 1993 Honda Civic, which he crashed near the 3300 block of N. Lickert Harder Road. Booher was intoxicated at the time, according to court records.

Winters, who lives near the Brownings on Portage South River Road, presides over domestic relations cases at Ottawa County Court of Common Pleas.