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Seaworth: Adams is now back on the job

Detroit Lakes Superintendent Mark Adams has been reinstated and is back on the job, following his acquittal on assault charges Friday.

Detroit Lakes School Board Chairman Tom Seaworth said Adams, who has been on administrative leave, took vacation time Monday and Tuesday but was slated to be back at the office today.

"Mark is off administrative leave," Seaworth said Tuesday. "He'll be back in the office tomorrow -- he is our superintendent."

Adams will not attend graduation ceremonies, set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the high school, since he missed most of the school year and "doesn't want to take the spotlight off the kids," Seaworth said.

Lowell Niklaus, who has been serving as both interim superintendent and education director, will now go back to working on curriculum and other duties as education director.

Seaworth said Niklaus has been putting in long hours, sometimes coming in at 4 a.m. or staying into the evening to handle both jobs.

Adams will receive his annual performance evaluation at the next school board meeting in June.

"I haven't had a chance to sit down and meet with him (since the trial)," Seaworth said.

An Otter Tail County jury acquitted Adams of first- and third-degree felony assault charges on Friday, after a weeklong trial in Fergus Falls.

After three years as superintendent in Deer River, Adams signed a three-year contract with the Detroit Lakes school district last spring and started work July 1, with a starting salary of $110,000.

He was placed on paid leave Nov. 8, following a grand jury indictment Nov. 1 for an incident that occurred at the Mark Rothschadl farm in rural Ogema on Sept. 9.

Adams was not in the school district office Wednesday morning and did not immediately return a message left with a receptionist.