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YSI employee put on leave after assault

By Staff | Sep 30, 2012

An Elmore Academy employee possibly facing further criminal charges has been placed on unpaid administrative leave.

Jesse Williams, senior vice president of operations for Youth Services International, says officials at the facility’s parent company took the action as a result of an internal investigation and review.

“The employee hasn’t been on-site at Elmore I’d say for two months,” he says. “We had to look into it because there may have been of a violation of company policy.”

Williams says he has not spoken to local authorities regarding status of the case.

“I haven’t received any official notification from anyone, the county attorney or Department of Human Services, that charges are being considered,” he says.

However, court records show 29-year-old Frank Jude Halupka of Elmore has been charged with fifth-degree assault, a misdemeanor that carries a maximum sentence of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

The citation was issued by Elmore police officer Andrew Haken.

Halupka made his first court appearance on Tuesday and defense attorney Bill Grogin was appointed to represent him.

Williams says officials at the Sarasota, Fla., head quarters have not yet discussed whether further action will be taken against Halupka.

Court papers say around 9 p.m. on June 21 several students were arguing when it turned into a fight.

Halupka allegedly put one of the students into a “neutral restraint” when he did not listen after being told to sit down and be quiet.

The boy reportedly sustained several injuries to his face while being put on the ground.

Authorities were able to view a video, says court papers, that show Halupka putting the student in a “neutral restraint” from a standing position after what appears to be a verbal argument between the two.

The academy is for males and females ages 13 to 19 who have chemical abuse and behavioral problems.

According to an informational brochure, the facility opened in 1998 and is licensed to serve a maximum of 75 males and 50 females in separate programs.

The academy has 75 full-time employees with an annual payroll of nearly $2 million.