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Support pours in for East Dubuque superintendent

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EAST DUBUQUE, Ill. (KWWL) -

The East Dubuque, Illinois, school board placed their superintendent, Greg Herbst, on administrative leave last week.

School Board President Shirley Horstman says she can't legally talk about why that action was taken.

But there is no shortage of support for the man who took over the position in 2011.

"Greg Herbst is not just a part of the East Dubuque community, he's what the East Dubuque community stands for," said Jim Puls.  Puls worked for the school district for 16 years, and was on the school board when Herbst was first hired as the East Dubuque High School Principal.

And while the school board won't talk about their actions, Herbst spoke out this week in a written statement.

In that statement, he said that there was no illicit activity that caused this to happen.

Rather, he said this: "It is my opinion that the origin of this event is in regard to my investigations into the performance and effectiveness of another school official.  It is also my opinion that some external collusive relationships may have unduly influenced some of the Board members."

He also said he's not ashamed, because he has nothing to be ashamed about.

Puls says the whole incident surrounds Herbst's attempts at damage control. He says rumors were swirling about a school official that was talked about in a closed session of the school board.

In response, Puls says Herbst addressed his staff about the rumors, which is technically not allowed.

"We all are in agreement that, OK, the man did something wrong, but that doesn't warrant termination," said Dave Sendt.

Sendt started a Facebook group this week called East Dubuque Citizens in support of Greg Herbst. The group has already reached more than 1,500 supporters.

"I had the opportunity to (speak to) Greg yesterday, and he was just humbled by the outpouring of support," Sendt said.

Sendt also organized a meeting Wednesday night at 7 p.m. to map out their next move and "to keep their momentum going."

The school board is next set to meet at the end of July.

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