Weather Forecast


Jamestown teacher accused of assaulting girl resigns

Richard Laqua, along with attorney Lawrence Kropp, listen to the charges Wednesday in Southeast District Court in Jamestown. Keith Norman / Forum Communications

A Jamestown Public Schools employee facing two felony charges filed a letter of resignation late last week.

Richard Laqua, 54, filed a standard letter of resignation late on Friday afternoon.

The Jamestown Public School Board now has to decide at Monday's meeting whether to add his letter of resignation to the regular agenda and what type of action to take.

"We had an inclination that it might be coming so we held the agenda as long as we could," said Superintendent Bob Toso.

The official School Board agenda was released at 2 p.m. Friday. Laqua's letter came shortly after that, Toso said.

If the board decides to add the letter to the agenda, action could be taken Monday night. If not, the board will have to hold a special meeting or decide whether to accept it or not at the next Dec. 19 meeting.

A construction technology teacher at the James Valley Career and Technology Center, Laqua was charged on Nov. 8 with one count of sexual assault and one count of luring a minor by computer or other electronic means. He is accused of touching the buttocks of a juvenile girl over the age of 15 as well as sending her explicit text messages on Nov. 7. Both are Class C felonies.

The Jamestown Public School Board meets at 5:15 p.m. today in Thompson Community Room at Jamestown Middle School.

If action is taken tonight, Laqua's employment with Jamestown Public Schools could be terminated immediately. This would include termination of his benefits. Not included would be the Teachers' Fund For Retirement, which Laqua has been paying into his entire career, Toso said.

A party answering the phone at Laqua's residence hung up.

Steven Light, his Fargo attorney, had no comment on the letter.