This story was updated at 10:50 a.m. May 10, 2019.
Robert P. McElliott, 59, the Hoquiam Middle School teacher who was charged in November 2018 in connection with threats he wrote against himself on a school gym door, pleaded guilty to one charge in Hoquiam Municipal Court Tuesday, according to Hoquiam City Attorney Steve Johnson.
“He admitted that he ‘posted’ a false threat at the school,” said Johnson.
McElliott was sentenced to 90 days in jail, all suspended, on a charge of “causing an unnecessary emergency response” and issued a fine of $350, said Johnson. In return for his guilty plea, a second charge of making a false statement to a public servant was dismissed.
The initial two charges, a misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor, carried a maximum punishment of 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine.
According to court documents, Hoquiam Police were called to the middle school Nov. 5, 2018, and were shown a message reading “Mceliot is a dead mon” written on a gym door. Middle school Principal Jason Ihde reviewed security footage that appeared to show it was McElliott himself who had written the message, and shared it with investigators, according to court documents. McElliott was charged on two counts Nov. 11, 2018.
According to court documents, similar written threats were reported at the school in February 2017 and October 2018.
The school district placed McElliott, a physical education teacher, on paid administrative leave Nov. 6. Per an agreement reached between himself and the district in February, McElliott remained on paid administrative leave through March 31, 2019, and then on sick leave status through his resignation date of April 25. Between Nov. 6, 2018, and his resignation date McElliott collected around $39,000 from the district, and will remain on the district insurance plan through Aug. 31.