School counselor accused of sexual abuse resigns

A McNary High School counselor facing charges that he sexually abused a minor has resigned from his job with the Salem-Keizer School District after more than two years on paid administrative leave.

Todd A. Bobeda, 47, of Dallas, resigned effective Dec. 12, according to a school board agenda. The district entered into a resignation agreement with Bobeda, said district spokesman Aaron Harada. He declined to provide further details on what was agreed to but said the district did not ask Bobeda to resign.

Bobeda’s attorney in the criminal case, Zachary Stern, declined to comment Wednesday on the resignation or what was negotiated with the school district.

Prosecutors charged Bobeda in June 2023, alleging that he subjected a juvenile to sexual contact repeatedly between December 2019 and July 2021 and failed to perform his duties as a public servant. Each charge is a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a maximum sentence of a year in jail and fine of up to $6,250.

He is also accused of failing to report child abuse in April 2019 with the intent to harm the same victim, court records showed. He is scheduled for trial in April, court records show.

During the time of the conduct described in the criminal information, he was counselor at McNary and South Salem High Schools. He was also the head girls tennis coach at McNary.

Bobeda began working for the district in 2004. He has been on paid administrative leave since Aug. 5, 2021, when the school district learned of an investigation into his conduct.

Paid administrative leave means an employee does not report to school or perform any work, but remains employed and paid.

His annual salary is $89,512, Harada said.

Oregon’s Teacher Standards and Practices Commission, which licenses and disciplines educators, has an open investigation into Bobeda, said Cristina Edgar, director of professional standards and practices. That investigation opened Aug. 3, 2021.

On Sept. 16, 2021, the state DHS Office of Training, Investigations and Safety started investigating “concerns related to Todd Bobeda’s inappropriate behavior towards students,” according to agency spokesman Jake Sunderland.

The investigation was “founded for threat of harm,” which means putting a child at a high risk of being abused, Sunderland said.

He said the department reported the information to police as required by law.

John Beight, the district’s executive director of human resources, declined to discuss Bobeda’s case specifically, but said the school district is sometimes delayed in its ability to investigate or act when an employee is accused of criminal wrongdoing.

Any investigation by the district comes after investigations by law enforcement and the Department of Human Services. The pace of those investigations has slowed considerably since the pandemic, Beight said.

Bobeda has an active license as a school counselor in Oregon which expires in 2025.

Contact reporter Rachel Alexander: [email protected] or 503-575-1241.

SUPPORT OUR WORK – We depend on subscribers for resources to report on Salem with care and depth, fairness and accuracy. Subscribe today to get our daily newsletters and more. Click I want to subscribe!

Rachel Alexander is Salem Reporter’s managing editor. She joined Salem Reporter when it was founded in 2018 and covers city news, education, nonprofits and a little bit of everything else. She’s been a journalist in Oregon and Washington for a decade. Outside of work, she’s a skater and board member with Salem’s Cherry City Roller Derby and can often be found with her nose buried in a book.