Hoquiam teacher pleads guilty to making false threat against himself

Robert P. McElliott, 59, the Hoquiam Middle School teacher who was charged in November with writing threats against himself on a school gym door, pleaded guilty to one charge in Hoquiam Municipal Court last week, according to Hoquiam City Attorney Steve Johnson.

“He admitted that he ‘posted' a false threat at the school,” Johnson said.

McElliott was sentenced to 90 days in jail, all suspended, and issued a fine of $350, Johnson said. 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, and were shown a message reading “Mceliot is a dead mon” written on a gym door. Principal Jason Ihde reviewed security footage that appeared to show it was McElliott himself who had written the message, and Ihde shared it with investigators, according to court documents.

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 McElliott and the district in February, McElliott remained on paid administrative leave through March 31, then on sick leave status through his resignation date of April 25. Between Nov. 6 and his resignation date, McElliott collected about $39,000 from the district, and will remain on the district insurance plan through Aug. 31.